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Google, most Ph.Ds per square foot, ...

... Fog Creek Sofware, most arrogant, programmer-bashers per square foot.

http://www.google.com/jobs/openings.html

Joel, as much as I agree with many of the points you raise about programming, I have to say that you sound really arrogant when you talk about other programmers' mistakes and keep on bashing your peers in the same profession.

Does it not occur to you that the less capable programmers are constantly learning as you did over the years? And, what about this competitor (http://www.appowersystems.com/APPowerBetaTest.htm) selling his product for more than you? Having put much more effort into his product (months instead of two days), I think he is entitled to price his product accordingly.

Please, do us all -- your fellow programmers -- a favour and stop being arrogant. We are in the same profession and we know its lows and downs; we also have our own opinions on other programmers (I, for one, have no admiration or respect whatsoever for lawyers, geneticians, and anthropologists turning contractors because it paid more, and yet delivering poor cowboy-coded applications). Still, I do not think it is ethical to criticise those writing Java code or following the open-source movement. As I said, your views about *programming* are very often correct; you should stick to these instead of self-proclaiming yourself to be the Programmer Messiah.

 

Eddy Young
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

I think you're out of line Eddy but you're entitiled to your opinion.

However, I would like to say that that google job listing is the best written job listing I have ever seen in this industry. It tells exactly what each job's responsibilities are and what they consider a requirement and carefully and explicitly separate the core necessities apart from what is desirable and what is a 'big plus'.

None of the jobs say they require a PhD. Some of the development jobs they list do not even require degrees: "strong academic background required - BS a big plus".

No wonder google attracts the best people. They focus on the important requirements and carefully prioritize their requirements. This explains why their software is so fantastic too.

X. J. Scott
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

not much demand for .net or vb was there.
Unix
Linux
C variants
Java
Oracle

It ain't a microsoft world baby!

Crusty Admin
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

The analogy with Google is that they are full of PhDs and that Fog Greek is full of bashers.

John Swift
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

That's a rather odd analogy though don't you think. Not sure it makes sense. I don't know if Google has the most PhD employyes but they are said to have a few. What about Sandia National laboratories? Or the CalTech physics faculty building? Or Los Alamos? And as far as Joel goes, a 'programmer-basher'? So  he drives around in his pickup weekends with his homeboys and brass knuckles and baseball bats just lookin for programmers to give a whuppin to?

Nope, I don't much follow that analogy. Might as werll call him a hate-filled genocidal zealot or a deranged pedophile - it would make as much sense as far as being over the top and out of line.

X. J. Scott
Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Well, one has to make the site interesting to read.  If Joel tried to be nice to everyone all of the time I would get tired of reading all of the kissing up to VB, open source, Java, Microsoft, etc.  And there's no way anyone can make everyone happy if one is to have an opinion of some sort.  And that's all it is. 

I too don't totally agree with everything Joel says, and I think some of the architecture design in some of the products could use a lot of help, but I like the other stuff such as the business strategy elements.

If you don't like his opinions then just don't read his website.  It's that easy -- delete the bookmark and never come back.  Simple n'est pas?

HeyMacarana
Thursday, January 02, 2003

Couldn't DISagree more with Eddy's post. Does anyone know what he's actually talking about?

pb
Thursday, January 02, 2003

Your link don't work.  And anyway, what's the context of Appowersystems?  Were they mentioned somewhere on this site?

anon
Friday, January 03, 2003

APPowerSystem was reported [in one of Joel's articles] to be selling an over-priced bug tracking and reporting tool for $5K. Allegedly, the tool was still in beta after months of development, while Fog Creek implemented similar features as a subset of CityDesk in a matter of days. In between the lines, it comes out like this, "We rock, you suck!"

As I wrote before, I agree with many of Joel's views about software development. But, after reading several of his articles in a row, I realised that most of them advocate his own ways while putting down others' instead of adopting a more neutral approach to the subject.

Eddy Young
Friday, January 03, 2003


Why is their web site down now? Selling snake oil is a risky business.

Leonardo Herrera
Friday, January 03, 2003

Eddy Said...
As I wrote before, I agree with many of Joel's views about software development. But, after reading several of his articles in a row, I realised that most of them advocate his own ways while putting down others' instead of adopting a more neutral approach to the subject.

If Joel wrote good things about methods he didn't use or try himself, I wouldn't trust the methods or his opinions as much.  But the fact that he is running a successful business and using the methods he says work well, well that lends him some credibility.

I don't remember any specific cases of him saying "<X Company> is stupid because they do this".  But I do remember a few places where he said things like "Never do <X>, and as an example of why not, see <X Company> whose product is taking N times as long as it should with M times more bugs".

Now if you think that is just putting down others, well, thats your opinion.  I think thats using another group of people as an example to prove his point.

If that other company takes it personally because their project is late and/or buggy and people point that out to them, well, thats their problem.

Andrew Hurst
Friday, January 03, 2003

I was reviewing Joel's master article page and i think I might have some insight into where Eddy's coming from, but I think Eddy has mistaken Joel's intent.

Joel's articles are coming from a 'tough-love' situation. He's not mincing words -- he's telling it like it is.

You can agree or disagree or be apathic about his articles and that is fine. But it is something else to be *threatened* by his articles. I suspect that that would only happen if he was shooting his arrows a little to closely to some cherished and well protected sacred cows.

X. J. Scott
Friday, January 03, 2003

I find this whole argument pretty funny. What Joel writes makes sense for the most part. I don't understand what's wrong with being arrogant. It's a great trait, and comes in especially handy when you lead a business. If your so offended then don't visit the site, it's that simple.

Besides he's an ex-Microsoftie, so not only can he think logically but he's got a good amount of creative brain power.

And on top of that he's Jewish, so he's a lot smarter than most of you.

Greg Rosenberg
Sunday, January 05, 2003

I don't mind arrogance too much when it's based on a long track record of stellar accomplishments (think Richard Feynman here).  Arrogance can make you look very foolish, though, when your life nose-dives soon after you share your pearls of wisdom (think Jeff Dachis and, to a lesser extent, Philip Greenspun).

J. D. Trollinger
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

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