Archive for September 2003

08 08 Sep

This month's STQE Magazine (which just came out) contains an article I wrote called "Every Crash, Everywhere" about automatically tracking software crashes which occur in the field. It's not available online but Joel on Software readers can subscribe for 15% off.

MSN quotes me: “If you have an interesting conversation about certain types of topics with a person, you can determine if [he] is the type of person you want to hire. The questions are almost a pretext to having that conversation.”

The long version: The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing.

19 18 Sep

Moving

We're finally moving offices, tomorrow. When you bid out a construction job, there's always one guy who comes in with a bid that's way less than the other guys. It's almost always a bad idea to accept this bid. Anyone whose bid is that far off either doesn't know what he's doing, or is cutting corners in some scary way, or will go bankrupt in the middle of the job. Or they're lowballing to get the work, and they plan to make up the profit by overcharging you for the inevitable changes. But it can be incredibly tempting. “You can buy an awful lot of aspirin for $35,000,” you tell yourself. As a client, the best way to use a lowball bid is to get the contractor you really want to lower their bid.

In the software industry we're always saying things like, "scheduling software is inherently difficult because it has never been written before, so it's science. It's not like the building industry, where everyone involved has done the same thing 100 times before and it's possible to make good reliable schedules. The software industry needs to become more like the mature trades with predictable schedules and budgets."

Well, what I've learned from my first large construction project is that this is hogwash. The building industry doesn't know how to do anything on schedule or on budget, either.

The Good News

The good news is that our architect has done an incredible job designing what I consider to be the ultimate programmer's workspace. I'll write up a full report after we move in.

24 24 Sep

During ConstructionMost software managers know what good office space would be like, and they know they don't have it, and can't have it. Office space seems to be the one thing that nobody can get right and nobody can do anything about. There's a ten year lease, and whenever the company moves the last person anybody asks about how to design the space is the manager of the software team, who finds out what his new veal-fattening pens, uh, cubicle farm is going to be like for the first time on the Monday after the move-in.

Well, it's my own damn company and I can do something about it, so I did.

Bionic Office

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Historical Archive

1111 posts over 14 years. Everything I’ve ever published is right here.

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Now that you’ve read all that —

There’s a software company in New York City dedicated to doing things the right way and proving that it can be done profitably and successfully.

Fog Creek Software