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{ Category Archives } Business

Forearmed

In researching my piece for the upcoming de Programmatica Ipsum issue on cloud computing, I had thoughts about Apple, arm, and any upcoming transition that didn’t fit in the context of that article. So here’s a different post, about that. I’ve worked at both companies so don’t have a neutral point of view, but I’ve […]

A question of focus

The problem with The Labrary is that I offer to do so many things – because I could do them, and do them well – that it can be hard to find the one thing I could do for you that would be most helpful: Artificial Intelligence Agile Development Continuous Delivery Software Architecture Technical Writing […]

Solving the underlying problem

As a software engineer, it’s easy to get work engineering software. Well, maybe not easy, but relatively so: that is the kind of work that comes along most. The kind of work that people are confident I can do. That they can’t do, so would like me to do for money. It’s also usually the […]

Product teams: our products are not our products

Woah, too many products. Let me explain. No, it will take too long, let me summarise. Sometimes, people running software organisations call their teams “product teams”, and organise them around particular “products”. I do not believe that this is a good idea. Because we typically aren’t making products, we’re solving problems. The difference is that […]

More speed, lower velocity

I frequently meet software teams who describe themselves as “high velocity”, they even have graphs coming from Jira to prove it, and yet their ability to ship great software, to delight their customers, or even to attract their customers, doesn’t meet their expectations. A little bit of sleuthing usually discovers the underlying problem. Firstly, let’s […]

More on freedom and licensing

Last month, I asked whether Freedom Zero is such a great idea, whether it’s OK to limit the freedom to use the software for any purpose if you dislike the purpose to which you believe someone will put it. I gave the example of the Numerical Recipes licence as one that could be adapted to […]

On study-only licences

In my previous post, I mused on the value of Freedom Zero and of a non-free licence that allows for study but not for use: I think it would have to be a licence that enabled studying, sharing and modification of the software, but that explicitly forbade any use for any purpose that isn’t studying, […]

Choose boring employers

Amusingly, my previous post choose boring employees was shared to hacker news under the off-by-one erroneous title choose boring employers. That seemed funny enough to run with, but what does it mean to choose boring employers? One interpretation is that a boring employer is one where you do not live in interesting times. Where you […]

Choose boring employees

An idea I’ve heard from many directions recently is that “we” (whoever they are) “need to be on the latest tech stack in order to attract developers”. And yes, you do attract developers that way. Developers who want to be paid to work on the latest technology. Next year, your company will be a year […]

The worst phrase in software marketing

“Rewritten from the ground up”. Please. Your old version mostly worked, except for those few corner cases that I’d learned how to work around. Now I don’t know whether the stuff that did work does work now, and I don’t know that I’ll find that stuff in the same place any more. There’s a reason […]