Friday, November 30, 2007

Programming Culture

Hat tip to Howard Lindzon for sharing this post...Software Engineering Tips for Startups

Alex's tips for startups is one of the best posts I've read in a long time on building a programming culture. I realize the focus is on tech startups. But, I believe his points are applicable to all companies with programming departments.

Some of my favorite quotes...
So the first tip is to always have a strong technical co-founder. Someone who shares or invents the business along with others, but also has the technical feet on the ground. Someone who can make sure the business is mapped onto technology correctly.

Avoid hiring managers...What you need are experienced technical people who love coding. These are going to be natural mentors for your younger engineers. Mentors and not managers.

Coding becomes sculpting. Starting with a shapeless form you continuously refine the code to satisfy the business requirements and make sure that the system is designed and implemented correctly.
And probably my favorite in regard to hiring programmers...
...candidates need to demonstrate love for simple and elegant code.
Simple and elegant code = Simple and elegant company.

I would also like to add one more trait to look for in programmers. Willingness to share knowledge. Evidence of this sharing trait in the interview and in past performance.

For example, all programmers develop tools to make their jobs easier. But, do they develop those tools for themselves only? Or for others to use as well? We all know...developing anything for others to use is the harder path to follow. But, without knowledge transfer, the wheel will be re-invented...again, again, and again.

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quote of the Week - 11/28/2007

"The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual." -- Bucky Fuller
Great quote. What do you see that needs to be done? And more importantly...what are you doing about it? But, a precaution...doing what needs to be done that hasn't been done by others prompts others to stall/halt the doing. Do you have what it takes to overcome the others in order to get the doing done?


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quote of the Week - 11/10/2007

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." -- Albert Einstein
Something to think about when developing systems.