Posts Tagged ‘English’

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CMMI in Mexico and the world (2015)

09/22/2015

Wizdoc [Icon By Buuf]  Tips & Tricks.

Quality is the best business plan.

John Lasseter (b. 1957). American animator and film director. Chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Animation Studios.

For some years now, we have been presenting the status of CMMI around the world, as this quality model is a good indicator of the overall health of the global IT industry. Previously, we explained its origin, and described its different constellations and logic behind their inclusion in this study. For clarity, we present a brief summary justifying its history and importance:

  • CMMI stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration.
  • This is a model for improvement and evaluation of processes, which focuses on certain practices of development, maintenance and operation of software systems, allowing CMMI to evaluate and measure the maturity of the software development process used by any organization.
  • CMMI measures this maturity on a scale of L1 (chaotic) to L5 (continuous improvement).
  • CMMI began its development in 1987 by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA.
  • Said model was commissioned by the Government of the United States to assess its vendors, especially those allocated to contracts for defense and space research, in order to base its bids not only on cost but also on the vendor’s maturity.
  • CMMI was originally designed for the development and maintenance of software, but was later extended to systems engineering, vendor management, development and integration of products and processes, human resource management and software acquisition.
  • While CMMI proponents see it as a tool to create better quality products and increase added value, as well as customer satisfaction, in practice the importance of CMMI lies in a greater catch of larger, high-risk projects, resulting in more attractive returns.
  • Finally, CMMI is a business-oriented tool; it is not people-centered. That is to say, it will not make life easier nor result in a more productive staff; nor it will decrease production costs. It just makes sure the organization adheres to a standard and its people “know what they’re doing”.

CMMI in the world

On September 10, 2015, there were 5014 active CMMI appraisals, from levels L2 to L5, spread over 83 countries worldwide. This amounted to an increase of 8% with regard to the certificates recorded on the previous study (4031 certifications on July 2012). The list is as follows:

Country / Level L2 L3 L4 L5 Total
China 20 1843 87 128 2078
United States 267 639 12 53 971
India 14 381 2 148 545
Mexico 110 84 8 22 224
Spain 58 62 13 133
Korea, Republic Of 29 85 11 6 131
Brazil 48 52 1 7 108
Colombia 5 64 15 84
Japan 13 42 8 6 69
France 32 21 53
Thailand 9 38 3 50
Taiwan 14 23 1 38
Turkey 1 32 1 1 35
Italy 12 18 1 31
Chile 15 10 5 30
Germany 11 19 30
United Kingdom 6 18 3 27
Argentina 4 14 8 26
Portugal 13 7 5 25
Viet Nam 21 4 25
Canada 8 14 3 25
Peru 3 17 3 23
Philippines 11 6 17
Egypt 5 8 2 15
Netherlands 2 5 5 12
Malaysia 1 10 1 12
Bangladesh 11 11
Morocco 3 6 1 10
Belgium 4 6 10
Israel 2 7 9
Sri Lanka 6 1 2 9
Poland 2 6 1 9
Singapore 1 5 2 8
Hong Kong 2 4 2 8
Australia 1 6 1 8
Switzerland 3 3 1 7
Pakistan 2 5 7
Russia 3 3 6
Saudi Arabia 3 2 5
Indonesia 5 5
South Africa 4 1 5
Uruguay 1 3 4
Ecuador 2 2 4
Czech Republic 1 2 1 4
Kuwait 2 1 1 4
Hungary 1 2 3
Ukraine 1 2 3
Romania 2 1 3
Latvia 3 3
Slovakia 3 3
Lebanon 3 3
United Arab Emirates 1 2 3
Luxembourg 2 1 3
Belarus 1 1 2
Finland 2 2
Ireland 2 2
Angola 2 2
Kenya 2 2
Nigeria 2 2
Paraguay 1 1 2
Austria 1 1 2
Cyprus 1 1 2
Somalia 2 2
Venezuela 1 1
Denmark 1 1
Macedonia 1 1
Qatar 1 1
Brunei Darussalam 1 1
Kazakhstan 1 1
Bolivia 1 1
Costa Rica 1 1
Jamaica 1 1
Panama 1 1
Norway 1 1
Jordan 1 1
Tunisia 1 1
Mauritius 1 1
Mozambique 1 1
New Zealand 1 1
Guatemala 1 1
Bulgaria 1 1
Greece 1 1
Sweden 1 1
TOTAL 737 3658 134 485 5014
Table of appraisals by country, for each level of maturity. Information as of September 10, 2015.

The most significant change with respect to the previous version, is the dramatic decrease in the number of L2 appraisals (737 in 2015 vs. 872 in 2012). This is because during the last three years, organizations have matured to higher levels of CMMI, or because of the economic difficulties that are suffering Europe, China and their respective spheres of influence, many companies that had a low level of maturity are gone. The key point here is that there are not enough L2 companies being created, which in some years may lead to further consolidation of IT companies, and possibly fewer labor opportunities. Naturally, the regional outlook has been affected by this situation:

•  Anglo-America (US, Canada) has maintained a steady growth in number of certifications with just over 4% per year (996 in 2015 vs. 888 appraisals in 2012), relatively on par to its economic growth over the last three years. By contrast, in terms of L5 evaluations, their number decreased from 59 to 56 over the same period.

•  Latin America has grown enormously over the past three years, about 21% annually (511 appraisals in 2015 vs. 316 in 2012). This block is being pushed mainly by Mexico and Colombia (with 224 and 84 certifications, respectively). And regarding the L5 certifications, today Mexicans and Colombians can be proud of the level of maturity found in their organizations, because by having 22 and 15 L5 certifications respectively, both countries are becoming the main IT service providers in the region. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for Brazil, because due to its “World Cup effect“, this South American power has stalled, growing or replacing only 7 certifications in the last three years.

•  With the economic problems being faced by southern Europe – Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and especially Greece – the whole region is going down with 379 appraisals in 2015, down from the 406 it held in 2012. Although the fall in number of certifications is more pronounced in Spain, with 20 fewer certifications than in 2012, Western Europe in general has decreased the number of its certified organizations. The exception is Eastern Europe, especially Poland (+3) and the Czech Republic (+2). Of course, the European maturity level has increased, reaching 41 L5 in these three years.

•  The Middle East has remained as a hub of IT services for years – especially Egypt and Israel – demonstrating continuity with 38 certifications, of which 10 are L5.

•  Although Africa has made an extraordinary increase (26 appraisals in 2015 vs. 8 in 2012), the continent remains underdeveloped in terms of IT industry. This is very worrying, as a continent of 1.1 billion people still does not reach the technological maturity of a country like Argentina, which has the same number of certifications, but has a population of only 42 million.

•  Australia and New Zealand have remained relatively stable (9 certifications in 2015 vs. 8 in 2012).

•  Finally, Asia (3055 certifications in 2015 vs. 2248 in 2012) has reached an annual growth of 12% being led by China and India (2078 and 545 appraisals, respectively). Both countries together have just over half of the L5 certifications in the world (276 out of 485 certifications). However, this does not detract from other countries such as Thailand (50 certifications), Turkey (35) and Vietnam (25), having made a successful effort to attract investment to the IT industry.

CMMI in Mexico: using the Fuaaa

On September 10, 2015, Mexico had 224 certifications distributed among 219 organizations, making the country the fourth in the world with more evaluations in this model, after China, India and the United States. Having overtaken Brazil, Spain, Japan and South Korea in number of certifications, Mexico is also fourth in L5 assessments (22), behind the two Asian and American giants, respectively.

If each unit is considered as independently assessed – for example, HITSS Solutions (21855) has distributed functions between the states of Queretaro and Aguascalientes, counting as two certifications – there would be a total of 251 independent evaluations, distributed among Mexican states as follows:

State / Level L2 L3 L4 L5 Total
Federal District (a.k.a. Mexico City) 16 36 3 14 69
Jalisco 38 18 3 4 63
Nuevo León 10 13 4 27
Sinaloa 22 3 25
Querétaro 4 5 6 15
Yucatán 4 2 1 7
Coahuila 4 2 6
Chihuahua 2 2 1 5
Guanajuato 2 3 5
Aguascalientes 2 2 4
México 1 3 4
Veracruz 3 1 4
Zacatecas 2 1 3
Baja California 1 2 3
Michoacán 1 1 2
Tamaulipas 1 1 2
Durango 2 2
Tlaxcala 2 2
Puebla 1 1
Tabasco 1 1
Sonora 1 1
TOTAL 118 94 8 31 251
Table of certifications by state, for each level of maturity. Information as of September 10, 2015.

• It is notorious the ongoing rivalry between Jalisco and the Federal District for supremacy in terms of CMMI adoption. While both entities had 35 and 28 certifications in 2012, three years later both have 63 and 69 certifications, respectively. Federal District organizations have focused on consolidating the L5 level, while the Mexican Silicon Valley, being more dynamic, has 38 L2 organizations: just over 32% of the country overall.

• On the third place is the northern state of Nuevo Leon, which agglomerates 27 certifications, and following very closely, the state of Sinaloa with 25. It is worth mentioning that for some time, both states also have become strong rivals seeking to offer nearshoring services to the United States, taking advantage of proximity to customers in the case of Nuevo Leon (bordering Texas upstate), or cheap labor and relative proximity to California, as is the case with Sinaloa.

• Although the state of Queretaro is still establishing itself as an important industrial and IT services hub with 15 appraisals – of which 6 are L5: second place nationally – the surprise this time is the state of Yucatan, because it had no certifications in 2012, having attained 7 in the last three years. The most significant point of its growth is that it already has a L4 certification, which will become a new L5 in less than a year.

Conclusions

It’s interesting to see how the North-South divide does not apply to IT: so distant nations that are hardly heard in the news – such as Thailand and the Philippines – are powers within this industry. Of course, although it is not reflected in this study, there are multinationals that are responsible for these success stories: for example, the renowned Irish consulting company Accenture owns seventeen L3 certifications, one L4 and nine L5, distributed throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America – 27 in total, equal in number to those of the entire United Kingdom.

On the other hand, it is sad to see how powers in this area (Brazil, Spain) are deflating due to economic problems, as this will impact the medium and long term viability of their IT industries. This in fact is already evident in the case of Spain, since in recent years, Mexico has seen a new wave of Spanish immigrants fleeing the current economic crisis, and whom for better or worse, have benefited Mexico at the expense of Spain.

Speaking of Mexico, it is a pleasant surprise to see how the country has risen to the fourth place in the world rankings. Perhaps due to greater economic integration we have with the United States, or possibly some of the programs implemented by the federal government are paying off. Leaving aside the cause for another time, the reality is that by having an IT market worth approximately 23.63 billion dollars and an expected growth of 6.4% for 2015, Mexico is becoming one of the major global players. According to Gartner:

  • On 2016, one in five of the leading providers of local IT services will be acquired by a multinational.
  • By 2017, the dynamic server market in Mexico will experience the highest growth in the region.
  • On 2018, Mexico will become a Latin American power in data center services, which will result in large-scale creation of several dozen data centers.
  • By 2018, retailers in Mexico will double their existing investments in CRM, ERP, supply chain and BI due to the rapid growth of the retail market.

However, we must not lower our guard: with an economic downturn in our doorsteps, many of these plans can come down. For now, let’s have a toast: this is an occasion to celebrate.

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What’s the weirdest thing about Mexico, that Mexicans find normal?

09/19/2014

Travel [Icon By Buuf]  Travel.

The truth is, the angrier I am with this country and the further I travel, the more Mexican I feel.

Jorge Ibargüengoitia (1928 – 1983). Mexican novelist and playwright.


Some time ago, the Provincia newspaper, based on the city of Morelia (Michoacan, Mexico), published a small list of Mexican traditions, which would surely intrigue any foreigner visiting our country. It is nice to see that we are not boring at all; just like every other culture in the world, we have our own amazingly odd habits. Not everything is smiles and laughter, however; some of these entries are quite disturbing, even for Mexicans such as myself. For example, according to some studies (including this map), Mexico is very racially tolerant, but whenever we talk about having neighbors of certain beliefs, nationalities or sexual orientation, many Mexicans bring their darkest side to the light.

Anyway, translated for your pleasure, enjoy:

Morelia, Michoacan (Jul/10/2014) – Reddit user MADEDITOR05 has done a simple question: “To those who have visited Mexico, What’s the weirdest thing about Mexico, that Mexicans find normal?” The responses were immediate; here are the best 35:

  1. No shop has spare change, EVER.
  2. There is a love-hate relationship with the United States.
  3. They love public displays of love and very, very long intimate embraces.
  4. They have a VERY good personal hygiene.
  5. They have no moderation in the use of hair gel; it appears that the minimum acceptable is half a jar a day.
  6. It is really disturbing that an old man claiming to be a child appears on a family program every Sunday.
  7. I was surprised at the lack of toilet paper and soap in public places, especially schools.
  8. They are highly educated, greet and say goodbye to everything and make me feel like I have no education.
  9. References to homosexuality abound in their language “joto, marica, puto, etc.”
  10. Canteens bring you food while you’re drinking, for free! They have no idea how lucky they are: Mexican food and Mexican beer is a winning combination.
  11. No decent coffee. Chiapas and Veracruz produce world-class coffee and it seems that everyone drinks Nescafe and OXXO coffee.
  12. The snacks; snacks are delicious.
  13. I was apalled by the lack of timeliness by everyone. If you have a meeting at 4:00 expect people to arrive at 4:30 at the earliest.
  14. That thing they serve at the restaurants is NOT catsup. I don’t know what it its, but it is not catsup.
  15. When I went to a public restroom, they asked for money at the entrance; when I paid they handed me some toilet paper. I was confused…
  16. College education is very casual, lots of communication between students and teachers.
  17. There are hot sauce dispensers for popcorn in theaters.
  18. Wal-Mart has a liquor aisle.
  19. Everyone sells something; either on the corners, outside their homes or even on public transportation.
  20. There are Asians in Asian shops and restaurants, but nowhere else.
  21. I didn’t see any non-Mexican child either…
  22. Everything is an excuse to party, and Mexican fiestas involve the entire family.
  23. Do not listen to what the American television says about Mexico. It is NOTHING like they say.
  24. If you have African ancestry, get used to being the center of attention in Mexico.
  25. They put lime on everything.
  26. Mexicans do not care about monopolies.
  27. They do not seem to care about wildfires, as long as these do not threaten people.
  28. They seem to believe that a drop of chili will be enough to destroy any foreigner. So the custom is to warn every one approaching the sauce bottle with “but it is spicy, OK?”
  29. The drug violence is central to everything that happens in Mexico, but it is taboo to talk about it in public.
  30. If you do not understand the multiple meanings of “chingar” and “pedo“, good luck following any conversation.
  31. Mexicans see any Central and South American as inferior. And they can’t stand the Argentines.
  32. They drink impressive amounts of soda.
  33. Racism is not such a big deal in Mexico. What is a problem is classism.
  34. Together they support the economy of the people. Walmart? never, we go to the tianguis.
  35. Philadelphia Cheese in the maki? Why?!

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100 impressions from a Brazilian in Mexico

01/24/2014

Trips [Icon By Buuf]  Trips.

Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart.

Edward Irving “Ed” Koch (1924 – 2013). American lawyer, politician, political commentator, movie critic and reality television arbitrator.

Some time ago I found a nice post from Vinicius Covas, a Brazilian student who lived in Mexico City for most of 2013 thanks to an international student exchange program. According to his observations, he truly enjoyed living here; hoping to see “the real Mexico“, only to find there are no sombreros, burritos nor adobe houses. As many people before him have noticed, there are many Mexican customs and traditions quite unique, even if you consider Brazilians to also be “Latin Americans”. The truth is Brazil and Mexico are very different in many ways; just like Canada and Australia, or the ‘States and England. So, I’ve translated the whole article, which is causing a stir in Mexican social media sites, as it shows Mexico through the eyes of a cidadão Brasileiro. Just a word of caution: this list is especially relevant for Mexico City; not so for other parts of the country: telling someone from Cancun or Tijuana that everyone in Mexico loves tacos is like saying all Americans love their chili con carne. That being said, enjoy:

Vinicius Covas is a Brazilian journalism student who lived in Mexico throughout 2013 as part of a student exchange program. At that time, he traveled, enjoyed, ate, experienced, admired, photographed, recorded, documented and was excited by all the adventures that happened to him in our country. Read here the 100 Vinicius’ impressions:

  1. Mexico is bigger than I thought it was, and much bigger than Mexico itself thinks it is.
  2. Mexico is not just a sombrero, chili and mariachi.
  3. Mexico is warm, cold, very warm and very cold. Usually all on the same day.
  4. Mexico has two capitals. One above ground and one below, with their incredible subway (also known as metro).
  5. The underground capital has less traffic than the above one.
  6. I do not know what’s worse in Mexico: drug trafficking or road traffic.
  7. Mexico has one of the cheapest subway fares in the world. But if it is increased by 2 pesos, chilangos (i.e. Mexico City inhabitants) jump over the tourniquets.
  8. The metro in Mexico is a shopping on rails. And almost always a joint with street DJ’s.
  9. Mexican rail transport and BRT work great. You can travel throughout the capital using metro. Do not know why there are so many cars on the streets.
  10. Mexico is the country with the highest level of pollution in the Americas.
  11. “Ahorita” (right now) is short for “now”, but it is almost always used as “in a while”.
  12. Actually, “Ahorita” is used for anything.
  13. “Wey” or “güey” (dude) is a mandatory greeting. But with rules: a woman can call a woman as “wey”. A man may call a man “wey”. Women can call a man “wey”. But a man cannot call a woman “wey”. It’s in the Mexican Constitution.
  14. “¿Qué onda, wey?” is the Mexican “What’s up, dude?”
  15. “Muy padre” (literal translation: great father) is not that there are many church fathers. “Muy padre” is something like “cool”. “Poca madre” (literal translation: little mother) is also “very cool”. In short, big Father and small Mother. Machismo anyone?
  16. In Mexico everything is “¡muy padre!”
  17. ¡Hijole! Never try to understand Mexican slang, wey. ¡Aguas! with the double meaning slang. ¡Andale! is not to walk out. ¡Orale! is not to start praying.
  18. If you’re Mexican, but not born in Mexico City, you’re provincial. It is as if it were a category under “gringo”.
  19. If you live in Mexico City, you are a Chilango and you’re one of the 25 million inhabitants of the city.
  20. Mexicans fiercely defend the city that bears their accent.
  21. In Mexico, there are 365 types of food. One for every day of the year. Each passing day, you discover a new food.
  22. In Mexico, the food has a name, surname, zip code and story.
  23. In Mexico, you put lime in almost everything.
  24. In Mexico, almost everything is eaten with corn.
  25. In Mexico, almost everything is eaten with chili.
  26. In Mexico, almost everything is eaten.
  27. In Mexico, almost all restaurants have on their tables some containers with chili.
  28. Never ask a Mexican if a chili is strong. Even if they say it isn’t, it is.
  29. In Mexico, all tacos have a surname. Tacos al pastor, tacos dorados, tacos de barbacoa, de flauta, de parrilla…
pic: Tacos al pastor

These are tacos. The other stuff is… well, let’s say those are a glorified hamburguer served over a nacho. In the picture, tacos al pastor, made of pork meat colored by annatto seed and roasted on a vertical spit, known as trompo. These are served with onion, coriander and a slice of pineapple. (Source: philadining.com)
  1. In Mexico, to say burritos is a typical meal is almost a crime. Even if it is in fact, a meal with Mexican origins. It is “Tex-Mex”, they say…
  2. In Mexico, water has several flavors. There is chocolate water, of barley, pineapple, root, melon, sugarcane, orange, strawberry, rice… and even water.
  3. In Mexico breakfast is sacred. Actually, it is the first meal of the day. Stuffed corn dough, atole, quesadillas, pozole, chilaquiles, muffins, pancakes…
  4. For the average Mexican, it is God in heaven and tacos on earth.
  5. In Mexico you can get fat by inhaling fatty tacos, gorditas and quesadillas. ( – . – )
  6. In Mexico, tacos are eaten with your hands. They also prepare them with their hands. But those who make them, don’t handle any money.
  7. Anyway, it’s better not to know how tacos are made. Out of sight, out of mind!
  8. In Mexico if you make an appointment with someone at “noon”, it means it is at 1 PM. Or later.
  9. Not for nothing the main television station has 3 channels: one that displays the current programming, other exhibiting the programming delayed by one hour and another with programming with two hours of delay.
  10. In Mexico gratuity is paid for everything. In the bathroom, if you clean your hands, someone will hand you paper to dry yourself. It isn’t kindness; it is an innovative way to ask for tips.
  11. In Mexico, you have to hang outside with a few coins in your pocket. Someone will surely ask. (In Brazil too).
  12. In Mexico, you never pay what the reader at the supermarket shows. It is always rounded.
  13. And if the cashier does not offer a refill on your phone (buying a prepaid card), you win a free refill.
  14. In Mexico, supermarkets have a big declared fight in advertising. You go to the “super” or “La Comer“. In the “super”, everything costs less.
  15. In Mexico, the price of a bus ticket is according to destination. Up to 5 Km is a price; the more it goes another price it costs.
  16. In Mexico, it is common to see wealth and poverty side by side. When they are on the same side, the poor is usually the rich’s employee.
El Resplandor by G. Emmanuel Hernandez

Mexico, a land of contrasts: In the foreground, one of the multiple “colonias” – and their characteristic houses made of filler block – close to Centenario Avenue, in Mexico City. In the background you can see the skyscrapers of the Santa Fe business district. (Source: Flickr)
  1. Mexicans believe very little in Mexico. But they have great pride in being Mexican. Besides everything else.
  2. The average Mexican is proud of his history and does everything to not forget the heroes of the past.
  3. Foreigners love Mexico.
  4. San Miguel de Allende was voted as the best city in the world, and ironically, the city has more foreigners than Mexicans.
  5. Not all Mexicans go to the United States by crossing the border in search of opportunities. In Mexico there are also opportunities and legal means to travel to the neighboring country.
  6. The second city with the largest number of Mexicans is not a Mexican city. It is Los Angeles, California.
  7. In fact, several large American cities formerly belonged to Mexico. What an irony!
  8. In Mexico voting is not obligatory, but 500 pesos [for the “right” party] make it obligatory.
  9. The current president of Mexico was elected without anyone electing him. It seems…
  10. In Mexico there is a union called CNTE (National Teachers’ Union). I prefer not to comment on it…
  11. Teachers from Mexico do not like to be evaluated. When that happens, they leave school and go to the streets to assess the government.
  12. Mexico has one of the world’s richest men and 45.5% of the population is poor.
  13. Carlos Slim earns $27 million per day. The Mexican minimum wage is 64 pesos a day. A Mexican (Carlos Slim) has the daily salary of 4 million and 756 thousand Mexicans.
  14. However, Carlos Slim has built the Soumaya Museum, which has the name of his wife. Quite original.
  15. Mexico is one of the most resource-rich countries in the world. Precious metals, oil, gold, copper, silver, natural gas… do not know why it is considered poor.
  16. Mexico does not forget the heroes of its history.
  17. Mexico is the land of all civilizations. Totonac, Maya, Toltec, Olmec, Aztec…
  18. The T-shirt printing in Cancun you will buy will be in English.
  19. In Cancun, the Mexican works while the foreigner enjoys.
  20. Playa del Carmen is better than Cancun.
  21. In the Mexican Caribbean it is sunny every day of the year.
  22. Mexico will never die from lack of tourism.
  23. In Cancun things have two prices: one for tourists and one for Mexicans.
  24. In Mexico, men greet each other with a handshake after a hug and then another handshake.
  25. In Mexico telenovelas are pure drama.
  26. Mexicans are friendly.
  27. In Mexico the same word can be written in two ways: in the original formal or with “-ito”. Actually these are diminutives, but almost all leading “-ito”.
  28. Mexican Christmas without piñata is not Christmas in Mexico.
  29. If the Mexican [soccer] team wins, it is the best in the world. If they lose, they are the shame of the country.
  30. The covers of some Mexican newspapers are as follows: on one side, a naked woman; across, a dead person.
  31. Some Mexican politicians spend more on advertising in the campaign, than with investments directed towards governing the people.
  32. In Mexico, not even grandmothers want anything to do with Nieto (the Mexican President).
  33. Before catching a cab in Mexico, check if the driver has put his identification in the window glass.
  34. Mexican Day of the Dead is one of the strongest traditions I’ve seen in my life. Food that the deceased liked is prepared and eaten with “him” over his grave. Music is played and his death is “celebrated”. The cemeteries are made beautiful. It’s exciting.
pic: Day of the Dead in Michoacan, Mexico

During Day of the Dead, altars or graves are decorated with Mexican marigold flowers, candles, food and personal items liked by the deceased (i.e. toys for children, cigars or alcoholic drinks for adults). In the picture, a traditional altar found in the western state of Michoacan, Mexico. (Source: yosoyixtapazihuatanejo.com)
  1. Actually, no one dies in Mexico.
  2. The average Mexican is in love with tequila, but is lover of mezcal.
  3. There are 3 sacred things in Mexico: moms, the Mexican flag and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
  4. In Mexico there are two kinds of people: “buena onda” (good vibes) and “mala onda” (bad vibes).
  5. Lucha libre [Mexican wrestling] is a big lie, but it’s the funniest lie you’ve been told. ¡Muy padre!
  6. The other wrestling is the struggle of Mexicans, which almost always is not free, to combat lies (from governments).
  7. Speaking of lies, Mexican 28 December is a difficult day [It is the Mexican equivalent to April’s Fool]. Lies! It’s not. Lies! It is.
  8. Mexico has a reputation for being dangerous. It is a shame! There are so many good things in the country that could have more fame.
  9. In fact, Mexico has its dangerous side. That side is on the front cover of some tabloid newspapers.
  10. In Mexico, music has an extremely large role. While it is being lost among the young, there is a movement to keep Mexican traditions alive.
  11. Mexico City is one of the cities least “… of Mexico.” It is worth traveling to other parts of the country to learn more about Mexican culture.
  12. The Chapultepec Forest, with its 747 hectares of green, breathes for the grayish Mexico City. Meanwhile…
  13. In Mexico, they have a problem with water and air pollution. The country needs the help of Captain Planet.
  14. In Mexico, it is forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages on the street. Outside the streets everything goes, such as beer with butter, coffee, salt, lemon and chili. They like it.
  15. The Mexican national football team is the green uniform of the America team. Even the coach. I think the team in yellow uniform would win over the green uniform.
  16. In all parts of Mexico you will find a Sanborns.
  17. Mexico is always portrayed in Hollywood movies as the country of drugs and cartels. I don’t know why the Mexican government still allows this.
  18. In Mexico, it is very easy to travel in time. In some cities you live as they lived centuries ago; in others you live in the future.
  19. Actually, the notion of time in Mexico also changes a lot. I have no doubt that in villages across the country the day lasts more than 24 hours.
  20. Mexico is the country of those who still have dreams.
  21. An impression from Vinicius Covas: he is delighted with Mexico.

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Some misconceptions about Mexico and Mexican people

05/31/2013

Trips [Icon By Buuf]  Trips.

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.

Margaret Mead (1901-1978), American cultural anthropologist.

I love to see how every time a foreigner comes to Mexico, especially American or European, he or she becomes amused and even shocked when visiting our country for the first time. This happens because after they get off the plane at Mexico City, they expect us to be dressed up like Pancho Villa, inhabiting adobe houses in the middle of the desert. This is why I am compiling a small list with the most common misconceptions foreigners have about us when they visit Mexico:

• Mexico is a desert where it is always over 40°C (104°F)

The truth: Mexico is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of biomes and climates. Yes, we have the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in northern Mexico, but only on the extreme north. The rest of the country varies considerably according to altitude and latitude. We have tropical rainforests on the Yucatan Peninsula; plains and grasslands along the Gulf of Mexico; oak and pine forests in the Mexican Central Plateau, and there are even some villages and regions along the Sierra Madre mountain ranges with seasonal snowfalls. For instance, Monterreal in the northern state of Coahuila is the first ski center in Mexico.

Creel, Chihuahua

Creel, on the northern state of Chihuahua, after a snowfall (Source: ImageShack.com)

• Mexico is small and lightly populated

The truth: Mexico is the 15th largest country in the world, with the size of Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany combined. Compared against American states, Mexico has three times the size of Texas or almost the size of Alaska. Regarding population figures, Mexico is the 11th most populated country in the world, with approximately 114 million inhabitants (2012), or slightly more than a third of the population of the United States.

• All Mexicans are look-alikes of Speedy Gonzales

The truth: most of us are mestizos – the result of interracial marriages between Native American people and Spanish conquistadors who conquered and settled these lands during the 16th century. Some of us are lighter; some of us are darker. So, we have every shade of the spectrum, with güeros like Inés Sainz and ‘Arab’ Mexicans who are descendants of Middle East immigrants, especially from Lebanon and Israel like Jaime Camil; we also have ‘Afromexicans’, like the soccer player Giovani dos Santos or our second president, Vicente Guerrero. There are even people from Chinese, Filipino and Korean descent making up 1% of our population – comparatively speaking, it is the same proportion of Native Americans, Alaskan and Hawaiian people in the United States. On the other hand, besides national celebrations and soccer matches, I’ve never seen a Mexican wearing a ‘sombrero‘. What I’ve explained to many of our visitors, is that at the beginning of the 20th century, during our Mexican Revolution (1910-1921) several revolutionaries were photographed wearing such clothing, which nowadays is as fashion to us as the top hat – like the one worn by Abraham Lincoln – is to modern-day Americans.

Mestizos mexicanos

Here in Mexico we have every color of the spectrum. And the Mexican sombrero is only worn in festivities like our independence day or soccer matches (Source: Comunidad Lisosomal – Mexico)

• Mexico is pitifully poor…

The truth: Mexico is a “middle class” country. This means we don’t belong to the industrialized world, but we are not part of the “exclusive” group of countries with periodic famine, war – about our narco violence we will talk in a moment – or constant humanitarian missions from the United Nations. According to a study from the Brookings Institution, 60.1% of the Mexican population has a middle-class income level with approximately $10 to $100 US dollars per capita in terms of Purchase Power Parity (PPP). This figure puts Mexican median income above the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India, China), who have much lower middle-class populations (Brazil = 33.75%, Russia = 48.1%, India = 15.8%, China = 28.1%) and more on par to countries like Argentina (52.9%), Uruguay (55.84%) and Costa Rica (51.81%).

• …And technologically speaking, we have no more than burritos and adobe houses

The first thing many people ask about Mexico when coming for the first time is: Do you have electricity? How about TV sets? Do you use horses or donkeys as mode of transportation? The reality is Mexico is no longer the backward country from the beginning of the 20th century: nowadays we have electricity – part of it generated by nuclear power – as well as LCD TVs, computers and even electric vehicles; we have cell phone technologies (GPRS/CDMA) and Internet; although expensive, we have schools and hospitals on par to their counterparts in the first world. Our science and technology have been restricted for several years to the maquiladora industry, so knowledge of our own has a long way to go, but certainly we are not in the Middle Ages.

Puerta de Hierro, Guadalajara

Puerta de Hierro residential complex in Zapopan, on the western state of Jalisco (Source: ImageShack.com)

• On Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) we celebrate our independence

The truth: Cinco de Mayo is held to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, where 4,700 Mexican soldiers crushingly defeated 6,480 French soldiers during the Second Franco-Mexican War (1862-1867). It is important because at the time, France was considered the most powerful world power. Due to the Good Neighbor Policy implemented by American president Theodore Roosevelt just before World War II, Cinco de Mayo became a “Mexican-American pride day” in the United States, although it has degenerated into “one of the days everybody gets drunk” at the other side of the border.

• Mexico is like the Wild West

The truth: Mexico has several challenges to overcome, and among them we can count the hasty maneuver performed by our former president Felipe Calderon (term: 2006-2012) with his “War on Drugs”. This has resulted in certain regions and cities in the country with a terrible violence. However, although Mexico has deficient and corruptible law institutions, it still has them. For example, the murder rate per 100,000 people in Mexico is 13.3, which puts the country as a safer place than more developed nations like Argentina (16.8) and Chile (19.6). Even if we compare Mexico against cities in the United States, it is much safer than let’s say, Dallas (15.8), Cincinnati (19.2), Washington DC (46.3) or New Orleans (53.1). We should not forget however, that Ciudad Juarez, right at the US-Mexico border, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, with 229 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

• Mexican food can be summarized into tacos, tortas and tamales

The truth: Mexican cuisine is now considered an intangible cultural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. From the Nuevo Leon arrachera, the Sonoran tortilla sobaquera, the mole poblano and chiles en nogada from Puebla, the Yucatec cochinita pibil or the Oaxacan tlayudas con asiento, Mexican cuisine is one of the most extensive in the world with a huge variety of ingredients and flavors. Even though tacos, tortas and tamales are quite popular, they have nothing to do with the so-called “Mexican food” outside our borders. One instance is the “chili con carne“, which isn’t Mexican at all (it is Texan, by the way).

• And regarding drinks, all we have is tequila and Corona beer

This false belief is equivalent to the wrong assumption that all Americans drink nothing but Sam Adams or all Europeans keep sipping Heinekens. The truth is, there is a wide array of drinks done and consumed in Mexico. Mezcal, aguardiente, white, pink and red wines; whiskeys, rum and brandy are quite popular; Corona beer could have an impressive marketing campaign outside of Mexico, but here the most popular include Indio and Victoria. And for those who don’t appreciate alcohol, you can find thousands of aguas frescas with many flavors, like horchata, jamaica and tamarindo.

Conclusions

This stereotyping thing is not limited to the way you look, dress or act; it also involves deeper issues such as type of society and economy. It is weird that the existing image of Mexico abroad is no longer prevalent since almost a century ago, while our country is identified with drugs and sombrero-wearing revolutionaries. Well, according to predictions, by 2030 the percentage of middle-class population in Mexico will be around 70 to 85%: something relatively close to a developed country. I cannot imagine the surprise of many when that messed up country south of the American border suddenly becomes the 10th largest economy in the global ranking. Will Mexico become a world power? Of course not, but at least a comfortable place among the “not so poor” countries such as Portugal or South Korea sounds good. It is worth mentioning however, that any further success stories from Mexico are despite the clumsy governments we have had for the last 40 years. But that is another story.

h1

CMMI in Mexico and around the world (2012)

07/23/2012

Wizdoc [Icon By Buuf]  Tips & Tricks.

Quality is free, but only to those who are willing to pay heavily for it.

— Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams. New York: Dorset House, 1987.

A couple of years ago I published an entry regarding what is CMMI and how are distributed the certifications of this popular quality model around the world. Nowadays, there have been many changes in the process itself and the publication of the results by the SEI, so it seems aproppriate to explain some points relevant to this version:

• CMMI has evolved not only to diagnose the processes of management or development of products and services. There are currently six “constellations” that detect the level of maturity in other areas within the organization:

  • CMMI-DEV: focused on product development.
  • CMMI-SVC: for definition, delivery and management of services.
  • CMMI-ACQ: emphasizes the acquisition of products and services from third parties.
  • CMMI-DEV+IPPD: model that evaluates the development of industrial products and services, using good practices from the Integrated Product and Process Development – IPPD. This is a model used by system integrators such as Boeing, General Dynamics or Raytheon.
  • CMMI-SVC+SSD: for deployment of call centers, software for quality management or consulting services based on systems that are part of software as a service.
  • People CMM: focused on managing and developing the workforce of the organization.

• Because of the different types of evaluations, some companies may have more than one active certification. For example, the Mexican company Taak Corporativo [assessment 17013, valid until August 10, 2014] has two certifications: one based on the CMMI-DEV v1.3 model (software development) and another based on the CMMI-SVC v1.3 model (consulting services). For purposes of this analysis, both assessments are accounted for separately.

• Again, there are many certifications shared between different countries through the integration of globalized services and business models where suppliers are outsourced around the world. A representative example is taken by the Indian company Tata Consultancy Services Limited [assessment 15250, effective until December 8, 2013] which has distributed business units among India, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the United States, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Uruguay. On this study, the evaluation for each country is accounted for separately, as the certification includes an assessment of each business unit independently.

• The appraisal results page by the SEI now includes a filter by country. However, care must be taken with the assessments presented, because clearly there are some errors in the distribution of certificates. For example, if we look for certifications of Jamaica, the page shows a certification awarded to Infosys Technologies Limited. Closer inspection allows us to realize due to a typographical error, this company which is from India, is incorrectly attributed to Jamaica.

• As in the previous version, some evaluations have a CMMI level 1 (chaotic). While they are published on the appraisal results page, these are not accounted for in the study. On the other hand, there are certifications that do not provide the level of the evaluation, or due to customer requirement, the level is not published. These certifications are not considered in the count.

Who is certified?

As of July 17, 2012, there were 4,031 active certifications around the world, spread across 84 countries. This represents an increase of just over 14% annually in the number of certifications from 2010 (3,135 certifications). The medal table is shown below:

Country/Level L2 L3 L4 L5 Total
China 39 1376 45 48 1508
United States 309 496 4 56 865
India 20 263 5 94 382
Spain 90 53 1 9 153
Korea, Republic of 31 52 9 9 101
Brazil 55 38 1 7 101
Mexico 51 33 2 8 94
Japan 17 54 8 10 89
Taiwan 19 43 4 1 67
France 41 23   1 65
Argentina 17 20   5 42
United Kingdom 15 22 1 4 42
Germany 17 19     36
Malaysia 4 29   2 35
Thailand 9 22   3 34
Italy 18 14     32
Egypt 13 15   1 29
Colombia 13 10 1 4 28
Canada 7 12 1 3 23
Chile 11 9   2 22
Vietnam   13 1 4 18
Portugal 7 8   2 17
Turkey   14   2 16
Philippines 3 8   4 15
Singapore 4 8 1   13
Saudi Arabia 2 6 2 2 12
Peru 6 5     11
Sri Lanka 2 8     10
Hong Kong 4 3   2 9
Jordan   8 1   9
Israel   5   3 8
United Arab Emirates 1 6   1 8
Russia 2 2   3 7
Australia 1 4   2 7
Pakistan 4 2   1 7
Switzerland 5 2     7
Poland 2 3 1   6
Bangladesh   6     6
Netherlands 2 4     6
Paraguay 6       6
Ukraine   3 1 1 5
Uruguay   2   2 4
Ireland 1 2   1 4
Belgium   4     4
Syria 1 3     4
Romania 2 2     4
Hungary 1   1 1 3
South Africa 1 1   1 3
Morocco 2   1   3
Slovakia   3     3
Panama 1 2     3
Norway 2 1     3
Denmark   1   1 2
Latvia   2     2
Lebanon   2     2
Austria 1 1     2
Costa Rica 1 1     2
Czech Republic 1 1     2
Kuwait 1 1     2
Qatar 1 1     2
Tunisia 1 1     2
Bulgaria 2       2
New Zealand       1 1
Belarus     1   1
Angola   1     1
Bahrain   1     1
Cambodia   1     1
El Salvador   1     1
Finland   1     1
Ghana   1     1
Guatemala   1     1
Indonesia   1     1
Kenia   1     1
Luxembourg   1     1
Malawi   1     1
Mauritius   1     1
Nepal   1     1
Oman   1     1
Brunei Darussalam 1       1
Cuba 1       1
Chipre 1       1
Iraq 1       1
Macedonia 1       1
Sweden 1       1
TOTAL 872 2766 92 301 4031

CMMI appraisal table by country, for each maturity level. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.

Again, interesting situations arise from the numbers obtained:

• The top ten with certifications is composed by the same countries that represent some of the largest economies in the world:

Country Appraisals
2012
Appraisals
2010
Growth Change in rank
China 1508 1048 44% (-)
United States 865 680 27% (-)
India 382 294 30% (-)
Spain 153 131 17% (-)
Korea, Republic of 101 71 42% (+2)
Brazil 101 98 3% (-1)
Mexico 94 70 34% (+2)
Japan 89 87 2% (-2)
Taiwan 67 67 0% (+1)
France 65 70 -7% (-2)
Rest of the World 606 519 17%  
TOTAL 4031 3135 29%  

Top 10 countries with certifications. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.

The most significant changes over the 2010 version took place in China, Korea and Mexico, as they grew in number of certifications by 44%, 42% and 34% respectively. By contrast, France lost 5 certifications because these were not renewed.

• For Level 5 certifications, India remains to be the country with more maturity in their organizations; Korea is tied with Spain for the fifth place, now there are four Latin American countries included in the top ten and there is a tie between four nations for the 9th position and four for the 10th spot:

Country Certifications L5
2012
Certifications L5
2010
Growth
1.India 94 64 30
2.United States 56 40 16
3.China 48 20 28
4.Japan 10 2 8
5.Korea, Republic of
5.Spain
9
9
2
2
7
7
6.Mexico 8 6 2
7.Brazil 7 4 3
8.Argentina 5 2 3
9.United Kingdom
9.Vietnam
9.Colombia
9.Philippines
4
4
4
4
4
1
2

3
2
4
10.Canada
10.Thailand
10.Israel
10.Russia
3
3
3
3
3
1
3
1

2

2
Rest of the World 27 21 6
TOTAL 301 178 123

Top 10 of certifications level 5. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.

• Latin America keeps moving ahead with a sustained increase from 280 to 316 certifications. The region is still dominated by Brazil and Mexico with 62% of the region’s total, but the surprise here is Colombia, who went from 18 to 28 certifications in less than two years. We also have to celebrate that Cuba has acquired its first certification, however for now it is only for academic purposes.

• The United States and Canada have grown in number of certifications from 702 to 888 altogether. This represents an increase of 26% since 2010.

• Europe groups together 406 certifications, from which not surprisingly, Spain has almost 38%. Its closest competitors include France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Portugal, however these nations are well below the massive participation shown by the Iberian country, for while the latter included 22 new certifications since 2010, the rest of the continent only contributed with 13 additional certifications.

• Sub-Saharan Africa remains to be the last region from them all, with a growth from 5 to 8 certifications assigned to South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Mauritius.

• By contrast, the Islamic world is emerging as a new player, with 137 certifications under its belt, almost doubling the 78 it had in 2010. Countries with more certifications in this group include Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

• Australia and New Zealand have decreased from 11 to 8 certifications altogether, almost all of them attributed to operational support organizations and manufacture of embedded systems.

• Russia has increased the number of certifications from 4 to 7, almost all acquired by financial and research and development organizations.

• Finally, as expected, growth is focused on Asia, from 1718 to 2248 certifications. Of particular importance we have China, India, Japan and South Korea, which have 93% of the certifications from this region.

CMMI 2012 Map



Map showing the CMMI appraisals by country. Information last updated on July 17, 2012.(Click on image or here to see at larger scale)

     1      17 – 32      513 – 1024
     2      33 – 64      1025 >
     3 – 4      65 – 128      Without appraisals
     5 – 8      129 – 256
     9 – 16      257 – 512

♫ Mexico lindo y querido… ♫

Mexico comprises 94 certifications, of which four are shared with Colombia, the United States and India. The list includes two certifications that are not being recorded, as the CMMI level with which they were certified is not known:

Organization Constellation Level Cities
LINK TECHNOLOGIES S.A.P.I. DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) Sponsor Requests No ML Monterrey
Interfases y Sistemas Electrónicos, S.A. de C.V. (INTERSEL) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) Not Given Hermosillo
Hildebrando S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 5 Mexico, Queretaro, Aguascalientes
IBM (Application Management Services Mexico) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 5 Guadalajara
PRAXIS DE MÉXICO, S.A. DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 5 Mexico
PSL S.A. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 5 Mexico, Medellin (Colombia)
QuarkSoft S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 5 Mexico, Zacatecas, Leon, Aguascalientes
Softtek CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 5 Monterrey
Tata Consultancy Services Limited CMMI-SVC+SSD v1.2(Staged) 5 Mexico, Hyderabad (India)
ULTRASIST S.A. de C. V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 5 Mexico
INNEVO CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 4 Guadalajara
SERVICIOS TELEPRO S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 4 Mexico
Accenture CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Mexico
AD INFINITUM S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Monterrey
AsTecI S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Queretaro
Brain Up Systems S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.2(Continuous) 3 Mexico
Business Intelligent Software S.A.P.I. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 3 Culiacan
Coppel SA de CV CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 3 Culiacan
D&T Tecnología S de RL de CV CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Guadalajara, Celaya
DESARROLLADORA HOMEX S.A. DE C.V CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Culiacan
Expert Sistemas Computacionales S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Monterrey
Expresión Informativa y Técnicas Organizadas, S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.2(Continuous) 3 Los Mochis
GONET México S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 3 Mexico, Monterrey, Cd. Obregon, Cuernavaca
IBM AMS México (GNP Account) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Mexico
IBM AMS México (Modelo Account) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Mexico
IDS COMERCIAL CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Mexico
ImagenSoft by Imagen y Sistemas Computacionales, S.C. CMMI-SVC v1.2(Continuous) 3 Los Mochis
INNOX-Innovacion Inteligente S. de R.L. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Guadalajara, Zacatecas
Intellego SC CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 3 Mexico
Intelligent Network Technologies S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Saltillo
Logica Interactiva S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Tijuana, Cd. Juarez
MEDISIST SA DE CV CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Guadalajara
NOVUTEK S.C. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 3 Cd. Obregon
PROCETI CONSULTORES S.A DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Monterrey
Qualtop SA de CV CMMI-SVC v1.3(Continuous) 3 Guadalajara, Los Mochis, Culiacan
Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 3 Monterrey, Bangalore (India)
Servicios Estratégicos OPTA SMART S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Monterrey
SOL SER SISTEM S.A DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Queretaro
SYTECSO, S.A. de C.V CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Monterrey
Taak Corporativo (Product development and implementation projects) CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 3 Guadalajara
TSI ARYL S. de R.L. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Hermosillo
T-Systems México, S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Puebla
Vision Consulting CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Mexico
Vision Software Factory, S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Queretaro
Zentrum Ziztemaz S.A. De C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 3 Tijuana
Applied Protocol Interfaces S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 2 Culiacan
Ariesware Soluciones S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Asesores en ERP S.C. (Estrasol) CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara, Leon
Atalaya Systems S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 2 Guadalajara
Bioxor S. de R.L. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Bufete Consultor Mexicano, S. A. de C. V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Mexico
Centro de Inteligencia Competitiva S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Mexico
Cibernética de México S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 San Miguel de Allende, Aguascalientes, Guadalajara
Compu Campo S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Zapopan
Computación Interactiva de Occidente, S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Consiss S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 2 Monterrey
Consultoría en Comercio Electrónico S.C. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
CONSULTORÍA Y APLICACIONES AVANZADAS DE ECM, S.A. DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Mexico
DAWCONS: DW IT SERVICES S.A. DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
DEMOSOFT S.C. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Ejecutivos en Computación y Servicios S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 2 Guadalajara
Escucho Consultoría SC CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Factor Informático de Negocios S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.2(Staged) 2 Los Mochis
Gestión de Tecnología Especializada S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Mexico
GEUSA, Grupo Embotelladoras Unidas S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Gobierno Digital S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Queretaro
Grupo Empresarial EISEI S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Monterrey
Infoware, Servicios en Tecnología e Ingeniería de Información, S. C. CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Mexico, Leon
INGENIA GROUP INTERNET DESARROLLO SAPI de CV CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Mexico
Innovación y Control de México S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO SUPERIOR DE IRAPUATO CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Irapuato
Instituto Tecnologico Superior del Sur de Guanajuato (ITSUR) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Uriangato
Interlatin CMMI-SVC+SSD v1.2(Continuous) 2 Mexico, Guadalajara
Mapdata S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Mexico
MASFUSION MULTIMEDIA S.C. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
MG MICROS DE OCCIDENTE S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
MKIdeas Tech S.A. de C.V CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Guadalajara, Mexicali
Pounce Consulting S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara, Mexico, Palo Alto (California, USA)
PRODESIS MÉXICO, S.A. DE C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Mexico
Punto Medio Operadora S.A. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
RESET S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Irapuato, Silao, Villagran
RQPortillo Firm S. de R.L. de C.V. CMMI-SVC v1.2(Staged) 2 Culiacan
SIMBIOSYS S.C. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Leon
Sinergit S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Continuous) 2 Guadalajara
Sistemas Avanzados Integrales SC CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Sistemas Digitales en Telefonía, S.A de C.V CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Mexico, Guadalajara
SPOT Consultoria SC CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Mexico
SUSOC CMMI-SVC+SSD v1.2(Continuous) 2 Guadalajara
SYE SOFTWARE SA DE CV CMMI-DEV v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Taak Corporativo (Service desk services) CMMI-SVC v1.3(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Tecnología de Gestión y Comunicación S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Chihuahua
Tecnología en Informática y Administración S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Guadalajara
Tecnología, Asesoría, Sistemas, S.A. de C.V. CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Mexico
Universidad Tecnologica de León (UTL) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Leon
Universidad Tecnologica del Norte de Guanajuato (UTNG) CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Dolores Hidalgo
VERSATIL CMMI-DEV v1.2(Staged) 2 Guadalajara

Certified organizations in Mexico as of July 17, 2012.

If we consider all business units as independent entities, Mexico had 117 certifications. Now it is the state of Jalisco (35) taking the lead, followed closely by Mexico City (28). Guanajuato (13) has had a significant growth while Nuevo Leon (10) and Sinaloa (10) are lagging behind. Queretaro (5), Sonora (3), Aguascalientes (3) and Baja California (3) have maintained a small but steady growth while Chihuahua (2), Puebla (1) and Coahuila (1) remain almost unchanged. On the contrary, Zacatecas (2) and Morelos (1) are now part of the CMMI club, but this is rather due to the expansion of organizations whose headquarters are outside those states.

Conclusions

In an increasingly competitive environment, we must use every tool at our disposal to attract business and investment: CMMI is clearly a means to achieve that. And these are not only castles in the air, as countries as diverse as Malaysia, Egypt, Chile and Vietnam are becoming suppliers of high technology and consulting services that already compete in the global market.

In the case of Mexico, we can see how it is steadily becoming an information technology powerhouse, because it has a reasonable number of qualified professionals, decent infrastructure and significant support from the Mexican government and organizations providing support to bolster competitiveness. Are we now part of the first world? Of course not, but considering the progress made in recent years, the future looks bright.

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CMMI certified companies in Mexico and the world

10/20/2010

Wizdoc [Icon By Buuf]  Tips & Tricks.

I’d rather have it wrong than have it late. We can always fix it later.

— Senior software manager, compiled by Mark C. Paulk. A history of CMM for software. 2001.

Update: 01/13/2016

For historical and comparative reasons we keep this information, but some time ago we published the updated account of CMMi organizations in Mexico and the world, during mid-September of 2015. As a summary, during the Fall of 2015, there were 5,014 appraisals distributed among 83 countries, of which the top 10 includes China, the United states, India, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Brazil, Colombia, Japan and France. Without further preamble, we present the original document…

The software industry has expanded dramatically, due to among other things, lower hardware costs and the need for information systems and Internet presence just to stay competitive. There is however, a problem that has plagued the industry since its inception: the subject of quality. There are few approaches, standards or best practices, which have resulted on hundreds of software engineers, project managers and academics struggling to find a solution against ongoing projects that fail to meet expectations, get delayed or consume more budget than it was initially granted. However, one of the most recent quality models with greater acceptance is the so-called Capability Maturity Model Integration – CMMI.

The origins of CMMI

In the early 1980’s several projects commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) failed impressively: the suppliers responsible for carrying out these projects extended their allocated budget and time beyond what was initially envisioned, if they came to completion at all. Note at that time, all projects requested by the United States Government – including its armed forces – selected the bidding winner just based on price.

So, the DoD was forced to found the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), operated by the Carnegie Mellon University and its primary mission consisted on identifying a maturity framework or model with which the ability of a company to build software could be judged. By 1987 the institute had developed the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). In 1991, version 1.0 of the CMM for software development (SW-CMM) was released by the SEI, thus more than 30,000 people from approximately 2,400 organizations were able to certify their companies on CMM, being able to participate in U.S. Government biddings, now mostly basing its bidding decisions on the participants’ maturity level. On 1997 works were begun to update the CMM and incorporate international standards. On 2000 the first version of this new model was released, now referred to as CMMI:

CMMI is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. It helps integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities, provide guidance for quality processes, and provide a point of reference for appraising current processes.

CMMI Overview, Software Engineering Institute.

In short, CMMI is a process improvement methodology, NOT a software development methodology, project management methodology or software life cycle management methodology. Basically, CMMI is a checklist where the division, project or company to be certified has to deliver the expected artifacts for each level of maturity. Currently, there are five levels of maturity covered by the model, allowing to identify companies that are “too green” from those that can be trusted, with relative authority, to deliver projects of high complexity and risk. The following table shows the five levels and process areas that are evaluated within each level:

Level Focus Process Areas
5
Optimizing
Continuous process improvement CAR – Causal Analysis and Resolution
OID – Organizational Innovation and Deployment
4
Quantitatively Managed
Quantitative management of processes QPM – Quantitative Project Management
OPP – Organizational Process Performance
3
Defined
Process standardization DAR – Decision Analysis and Resolution
IPM – Integrated Project Management +IPPD
OPD – Organizational Process Definition +IPPD
OPF – Organizational Process Focus
OT – Organizational Training
PI – Product Integration
RD – Requirements Development
RSKM – Risk Management
TS – Technical Solution
VAL – Validation
VER – Verification
2
Managed
Basic project management CM – Configuration Management
MA – Measurement and Analysis
PMC – Project Monitoring and Control
PP – Project Planning
PPQA – Process and Product Quality Assurance
REQM – Requirements Management
SAM – Supplier Agreement Management
1
Initial
Dependency towards qualified staff (“Heroes”) and their tools. This level is not assessed by CMMI.

According to the certification level some documents or evidence will be required, to prove the assessed processes are underway. For example, the CMMI Level 2 assessment requires reviewing the process area known as Project Planning (PP). It requires to show proof of the relevant activities, related to the following Specific Objectives (SO) and Specific Practices (PE):

 • OE 1: Establish Estimates
   ° PE 1.1: Estimate the Scope of the Project
   ° PE 1.2: Establish Estimates of Work Product and Task Attributes
   ° PE 1.3: Define Project Lifecycle
   ° PE 1.4: Determine Estimates of Effort and Cost
 • OE 2: Develop a Project Plan
   ° PE 2.1: Establish the Budget and Schedule
   ° PE 2.2: Identify Project Risks
   ° PE 2.3: Plan for Data Management
   ° PE 2.4: Plan for Project Resources
   ° PE 2.5: Plan for Needed Knowledge and Skills
   ° PE 2.6: Plan Stakeholder Involvement
   ° PE 2.7: Establish the Project Plan
 • OE 3: Obtain Commitment to the Plan
   ° PE 3.1: Review Plans that Affect the Project
   ° PE 3.2: Reconcile Work and Resource Levels
   ° PE 3.3: Obtain Plan Commitment

Stressing again that CMMI is neither a management nor development methodology; it assumes that the company or area to be certified already possesses the necessary standards to check the maturity level, so the certification will not request an artifact from a specific methodology. However, only for reference: if we were properly implementing RUP in conjunction with the PMBOK in our projects, we should have a nearly-effortless successful evaluation for CMMI-2 and would have a small share of the points covered by CMMI-3.

Why is CMMI so important?

In short: big bucks. Originally, CMM and CMMI were thought as process methodologies that would allow many software development companies to be suppliers of the U.S. government – and we all know it can be very generous, especially on defense contracts. However, CMMI is steadily becoming a standard that can be used to promote the ability to develop safety-critical software, or it can give a competitive advantage if we so wish to participate in projects of high complexity and risk, which for obvious reasons, have a high price and very good profits. For example, Boeing, General Dynamics, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Raytheon and Toshiba are some of the companies that have achieved a Level 5 of CMMI, which opens the door to projects in the range of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

Who are certified in CMMI in the world?

As of July 22, 2010, there were 3,060 active certifications provided by the SEI (see the complete list here). Many of these are shared by several countries, as some portion of the project, area or certified company takes part on a decentralized manner. For example, the EADS corporation (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) is a European conglomerate which certified its Defense and Communications Systems division (DCS) on the second level of CMMI on June 10, 2009. This certification is shared by Germany, France, the UK and Finland, because certain areas of research and development are split among these four countries. So, there are 3,135 certifications granted to 72 countries worldwide. The top 10 countries with these certifications are, not surprisingly, taken by some of the world’s largest economies:

Country Certifications
China 1,048
United States 680
India 294
Spain 131
Brazil 98
Japan 87
South Korea 71
France 70
Mexico 70
Taiwan 67
Rest of the world 519

There are some comments worth mentioning:

 • It’s impressive to see how China is taking over the world: with little more than a third of the globally issued certificates (1,048), the future is theirs.

 • The United States and Canada group together 702 certifications, many of them shared; this consolidates this region of North America as a single power that even then, is small compared with the vast number of certifications that China possesses.

 • Europe has 371 certifications, from which just over one third (131) are from Spain, the most advanced country in this regard.

 • Latin America is becoming significant as a whole: with Brazil (98) and Mexico (70) leading the region, they have 280 issued certifications. Latin American countries that have some certification include Argentina (47), Chile (26), Colombia (18), Peru (10), Uruguay (4), Costa Rica (4), Guatemala (1), Panama (1), Paraguay (1), El Salvador (1) and Venezuela (1).

 • The sad reality for sub-Saharan Africa is that they still remain far behind the rest of the world; currently they have just 5 certifications, contributed by South Africa (2), Ghana (1), Mauritius (1) and Malawi (1).

 • Finally, the mystery case: Russia has only 4 certifications. However, it shows these awards were required to capture dollars: MERA Networks, the Moscow Boeing Design Center, Auriga Inc. and Reksoft Co.Ltd. are the Russian companies that have this kind of certification.

The Mexican case

At present we have 70 institutions certified before CMMI in Mexico, from which three are shared along with Argentina and the United States:

Company Certified Area Date Level Mexican State
Tecnologia de Gestion y Comunicacion S.A. de C.V. Whole company 07/05/2010 2 Chihuahua
SAITOSOFT, S.A. DE C.V. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE AREAS 28/03/2008 2 Distrito Federal
ITE Soluciones S.A. de C.V. Software Development Unit 12/06/2009 2 Distrito Federal
Centro de Inteligencia Competitiva S.A. de C.V. Whole company 25/09/2009 2 Distrito Federal
Mapdata S.A. de C.V. Technology Direction 16/10/2009 2 Distrito Federal
Tecnologia, Asesoria, Sistemas, S.A. de C.V. Development and Support & Consulting Units 13/11/2009 2 Distrito Federal
e-Nfinito Whole company 12/02/2009 2 Guanajuato
Universidad Tecnologica de Leon (UTL) Software Development Unit 17/12/2009 2 Guanajuato
SIMBIOSYS S.C. Software Development Area 30/04/2010 2 Guanajuato
COMPUTACION EN ACCION, S.A. DE C.V. Whole company 07/02/2009 2 Jalisco
DAWCONS: DW IT SERVICES S.A. DE C.V. Software Development Services 08/01/2010 2 Jalisco
Ejecutivos en Computacion y Servicios S.A. de C.V. Software development Area 19/03/2010 2 Jalisco
Tecnologia en Informatica y Administracion S.A. de C.V. Development Area 15/04/2010 2 Jalisco
GEUSA, Grupo Embotelladoras Unidas S.A. de C.V. Systems Department 30/04/2010 2 Jalisco
ilinium S.A. Operations and Development 09/08/2007 2 Nuevo Leon
Kernel Technologies Group Software Development Team including the Quality Assurance Team 29/09/2007 2 Nuevo Leon
Tecnologico de Monterrey – VRHTI DPSI 12/12/2008 2 Nuevo Leon
i-place Whole company 30/01/2009 2 Nuevo Leon
Consiss S.A. de C.V. Custom Software Development 28/08/2009 2 Nuevo Leon
T-Systems Mexico, S.A. de C.V. Whole company 01/02/2008 2 Puebla
Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, A.C.(UPAEP) Information systems division 22/05/2009 2 Puebla
Vision Software Factory, S.A. de C.V. Whole company 21/12/2007 2 Queretaro
Business Intelligent Software, SA de CV Software Development Team 31/08/2007 2 Sinaloa
ARASYS S.A. DE C.V. Software Development Projects 23/11/2007 2 Sinaloa
DPSoft S.A. de C.V. Software Development Team 30/11/2007 2 Sinaloa
Sistemas Programacion Coppel SA de CV Whole company 29/08/2008 2 Sinaloa
MACRO PRO S.A. de C.V. New Developments 12/09/2008 2 Sinaloa
Applied Protocol Interfaces S.A. de C.V. Custom Software Development and Software Manteinance 13/11/2009 2 Sinaloa
Factor Informatico de Negocios S.A. de C.V. Operations Unit 23/04/2010 2 Sinaloa
RQPortillo Firm S. de R.L. de C.V. Consultancy and Support Units 10/06/2010 2 Sinaloa
PLENUMSOFT – SERVICIOS Y SUMINISTROS EN INFORMATICA, S.A. DE C.V Software engineering 24/07/2008 2 Yucatan
Brainup Systems S.A. de C.V. (Shared with Argentina) BUS Development and Services 17/07/2009 2 Distrito Federal
Zentrum Ziztemaz S.A. De C.V. Whole company 26/11/2009 3 Baja California
Logica Interactiva S.A. de C.V. Software Engineering Area 15/09/2009 3 Chihuahua
Intelligent Network Technologies S.A. de C.V. Whole company 18/09/2009 3 Coahuila
IDS Comercial S.A. de C.V. Project Development 14/03/2008 3 Distrito Federal
Informatica Integral Empresarial S.A. de C.V. Sinersys Technologies 14/03/2008 3 Distrito Federal
SERVICIOS TELEPRO, S.A. DE C.V. Whole company 29/05/2008 3 Distrito Federal
Accenture Technology Solutions – Mexico MXDC 22/08/2008 3 Distrito Federal
EDS, an HP Company Mexico City SAT account – Servicio de Aduanas Area – AGA-Administracion General de Aduanas 15/10/2008 3 Distrito Federal
BLITZ SOFTWARE Whole company 20/12/2008 3 Distrito Federal
QuarkSoft S.C. Whole company 27/02/2009 3 Distrito Federal
Azertia Tecnologias de la Informacion Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Una Empresa de INDRA SISTEMAS S.A.) Whole company 13/03/2009 3 Distrito Federal
T&D AUTOMATED TESTING AND DEVELOPMENT SOFTWARE, S.A. DE C.V. GRUPO TECNIS 03/04/2009 3 Distrito Federal
Vision Consulting Software Development and Maintenance Projects 25/09/2009 3 Distrito Federal
AsTecI S.A. de C.V. Software Development and Maintenance 28/01/2010 3 Distrito Federal
IBM AMS Mexico Grupo Modelo Account 19/03/2010 3 Distrito Federal
IBM AMS Mexico Grupo Nacional Provincial Account 04/06/2010 3 Distrito Federal
D&T Tecnologia S de RL de CV Deloitte GDC Mexico 31/07/2009 3 Guanajuato
VENTUS Technology S.A. de C.V. Whole company 22/03/2008 3 Nuevo Leon
World Software Services Group, SA de CV Whole company 25/03/2009 3 Nuevo Leon
AD INFINITUM S.A. de C.V. Software development and implementation services 14/08/2009 3 Nuevo Leon
SYTECSO, S.A. de C.V Software Factory 28/08/2009 3 Nuevo Leon
Expert Sistemas Computacionales S.A. de C.V. Technology division 29/08/2009 3 Nuevo Leon
OPEN ROAD Solutions S de RL de CV – Queretaro Mexico Whole company 19/12/2008 3 Queretaro
ALTEC Mexico S.A. de C.V. Whole company 19/06/2009 3 Queretaro
ImagenSoft by Imagen y Sistemas Computacionales, S.C. Projects Division 03/07/2008 3 Sinaloa
Expresion Informativa y Tecnicas Organizadas S.A. de C.V. (exito Software) New Developments Division 18/12/2008 3 Sinaloa
DESARROLLADORA HOMEX S.A. DE C.V IT Deparment 04/06/2010 3 Sinaloa
TSI ARYL S. de R.L. de C.V. SYSTEMS AREA 12/09/2008 3 Sonora
INNEVO (Susoc & Vates S.A. de C.V.) (Shared with Argentina) Software Development Services, Product Factory 07/09/2007 3 Jalisco
CRS IT Consulting S.A. de C.V. (Shared with Argentina) Technical Solution Implementation Unit 03/07/2009 3 Distrito Federal
Sieena Software S. de R. L. de C. V. (Shared with the United States) Whole company 17/07/2009 3 Coahuila, Nuevo Leon
INNEVO Custom Software Development Unit 11/06/2010 4 Jalisco
Hildebrando Software Factory Software Factory 07/09/2007 5 Aguascalientes
ULTRASIST S.A. de C. V. Whole company 28/03/2009 5 Distrito Federal
PRAXIS DE MeXICO, S.A. DE C.V. CEDS (Center of Excellence for Development of Software) 18/12/2009 5 Distrito Federal
IBM Application Management Services Mexico 30/03/2010 5 Jalisco
Softtek GDC Monterrey High Growth Accounts 04/12/2009 5 Nuevo Leon
SigmaTao Factory, S.A. de C.V. Whole company 24/08/2007 5 Queretaro

What I find remarkable is that in Mexico there are five Level-5 CMMI certifications, leaving the country ahead of most other nations in regard to this level of maturity, with the exception of India (63), the United States (40) and China (20). This means that although there are still few companies with CMMI, we have a high level there. This is also substantiated by the fact that unlike those countries, most Mexican companies are certified by the organization as a whole, not just a specific division or project.

On the other hand, it is quite noticeable how centralized is the software industry in Mexico, for almost all certifications are agglomerated around the Distrito Federal (22) and the states of Nuevo Leon (12), Sinaloa (11) and Jalisco (8). Guanajuato and Queretaro contribute with 4 certifications each; Chihuahua, Coahuila and Puebla contribute with 2 certifications by state. Finally, in Sonora, Aguascalientes, Baja California and Yucatan there is one company certified by each state. The surprise here is Sinaloa, as it has surpassed Jalisco (and its Mexican Silicon Valley) by number of certifications. More so when Sinaloa is traditionally viewed as a farming, cattle raising or tourism-driven state. Way to go for the Sinaloans!

My view

CMMI serves not only as a platform to promote ourselves before a global market; the fact that the most important companies and technology institutions in the world such as NASA, Siemens, T-Systems, Samsung and Accenture have a certification of this type means it DOES help as a model of process improvement to develop products and services with high quality standards. In fact, companies that are not on this list tend, for better or worse, to disappear or be bought by the competition. The harsh reality of competition in the business environment:

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821),
French general & politician.

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Six degrees that could change the world

10/27/2009

Eco [Icon By Buuf]  Ecology and climate change

SP Versión en Español

Last weekend I saw the documentary Six degrees that could change the world, by the National Geographic Channel. In short, it shows in good detail what would be the effects of global warming, for each degree of temperature increase in our planet:

• One degree: Where we are now [See here]
• Two degrees: Marine life in danger [See here]
• Three degrees: Victims of the heat wave [See here]
• Four degrees: The great cities are submerged [See here]
• Five degrees: The collapse of civilization [See here]
• Six degrees: Mass extinction? [See here]

Although most of the effects are known by everybody, it is shocking the explicit way it is shown. It is scary, because almost everyone thinks that global warming just means wearing T-shirts in summer, but the reality is more like a mixture of Soylent Green, the Katrina Effect and Children of Men in a dystopian future right out of our worst nightmares.

Speaking in concrete numbers

Writing down the figures shown in the documentary, the Climate Change 2007 report prepared by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), conservatively describes what the effects of climate change would be:

• According to the agency estimates, the average global temperatures will increase by 1.4 °C and 5.8 °C by 2100. However, this is just an average: there will be regions and continents where these ranges can be much higher.

• We must think of this problem on a very long term, due to what we do today, will not have a direct effect until decades or centuries later: global warming that we suffer today is caused by gases that were released decades ago. For example, CO2 can persist in the atmosphere up to 200 years, and gases like Perfluoromethane (CF4) can stay up to 50,000 years in the atmosphere.

• According to the same report, the sea level will rise from 20 to 88 centimeters (7.88 to 34.65 inches) by 2100. This already represents a threat to islands such as Kiribati or countries with deltas that flow into the sea such as Egypt and Bangladesh; however there is new evidence that suggests that this is too optimistic: according to James Hansen’s study, titled Climate change and trace gases, "… the geological record suggests that ice at the poles does not melt in a gradual and linear fashion, but it suddenly changes from one state to another. When temperatures increased between 2 and 3 degrees above the current average 3.5 million years ago, the seas did not increased their level by 59 centimeters (23 inches) but by 25 meters (82 feet). Ice responded immediately to changes in temperature … "

If predictions are correct and sea level rises 20 meters, many of the regions we know or inhabit today will cease to exist. In the case of Mexico, cities like Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos and Merida will be a fading memory. In South America, cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo will have its own Katrina effect, while Buenos Aires will not longer exist. In Europe the situation is not much better: while London might be saved, the Netherlands and cities like Hamburg and Venice will be the subject of underwater archeology.

• The annual cost to mitigate global warming’s effects can vary between $78 and $1,141 billion dollars, representing 0.2 to 3.5% of global gross domestic product. That is severe: to get an idea of how much it is, if each country pays for its share of a "global disaster relief fund," Mexico would have to pay some $ 29.4 billion, in the worst case. Considering that Mexico’s federal budget is of about $ 209 billion, we would need to incur on extra expenditures of 15%, which obviously we don’t have.

• There is a chance that 20 to 30% of animal and plant species around the world will become extinct, according to current trends. If the average temperature exceeds 3.5 ° C, the extinction rate may rise to 40 – 70% world-wide. For reference, the K/T Event, which resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs, meant the loss of "only" 50% of species on the planet.

• The continued melting of glaciers and little or no replenishment of water sources due to increased temperatures would create a water crisis that can lead to wars over the valuable resource. For the particular case of Mexico, considering the already complicated relations with our northern neighbors (United States), adding water disputes can lead to conflicts such as those between Israel and Lebanon of recent years.

End notes

Due to scandals involving errors and omissions in the report presented by the IPCC, at the moment there is a sizeable amount of people (especially blogs) assuming that the whole concept of global warming is just a farce. Well, as high-school Professor Greg Craven conveniently explains in this YouTube video, if we perform a small risk analysis where we have the following decision matrix:

Does Climate Change Exist? / What action do we take? Mitigate Climate Change Do Nothing
False (there is no climate change/ it has a natural origin). Costs associated with Green Economy = World Depression. Nothing happened here.
True (our greenhouse gas emissions are the cause). We managed to mitigate global warming. Judgment Day.

• If climate change is false, and we do nothing… then nothing happens, but the climate is increasingly unpredictable, warmer summers and honestly… Has no one noticed that not everything is as it should?

• If climate change is real and we do nothing… the world ends.

• If climate change is false and we make mitigation efforts… we are making an unnecessary expense, but in my personal opinion this mitigation may include incentives for cleaner industry, technology transfers as recommended by the Kyoto protocol, etc. that would result in a good choice.

• If climate change is real and we try to mitigate it… we are attacking the problem before it presents itself in full swing (remember: the wood that our grandfather burned decades ago continues to float over our atmosphere).

Therefore, on the meantime we better get accustomed to the idea of being greener, before it is too late and we realize that for saving a few cents now, tomorrow we have to pay thousands in repairs.

Update 06/09/2009

Climate change is in fact real, and we now have figures that support such claims: according to a report published by the Global Humanitarian Forum a few days ago:

… more than 300,000 people a year are dying from the effects of climate change. That figure is expected to rise to a half-million annually by 2030.

In addition, climate change is already having a serious impact on the lives of 325 million people, a number that will likely reach 660 million in 20 years. By affecting 10 per cent of the world’s population, that makes global warming the planet’s largest emerging humanitarian challenge.

[Finally] The economic costs of climate change are also steep, the report finds. Losses today total more than $125 billion a year — a figure that’s greater than the total amount of annual aid that currently flows from industrialized countries to developing nations. By 2030, the economic losses due to climate change will have almost trebled to $340 billion annually.

So, if anyone had any doubts about global warming and what 6 degrees of temperature imply, there you have it: the report gives specific numbers on lives and dollars lost already happening. So either we act now or we are screwed. From that same report:

If we don’t reverse the current trends by the end of 2020, we have failed. Global warming will have exceeded the known danger level of two degrees, since there is a delay of 20 years from the emission reduction and disruption of its warming effect. This report clearly shows that climate change is already dangerous below one level of warming. Two degrees would be catastrophic.