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Who's Joel Spolsky anyway?


I've spent sometime reading this weblog and the discussion group. I am wondering what's so great (if any) about this Joel and his web site that encourages people of high caliber, well mostly, to come back?

Saturday, October 26, 2002

the people!

Robert C.
Saturday, October 26, 2002

Software professionals learn a lot from books, practice, technical presentations, and articles.  But sometimes a well-told story can illustrate technical concepts even better, in an entertaining and memorable way.

Charles Kiley
Saturday, October 26, 2002

Joel is a popularizer of the classic notions of software engineering.  If you've read the 'classics' then you won't find anything new here.  But, Joel writes well and it never hurts to hear the good stuff one more time.

Li Fazol
Saturday, October 26, 2002

Joel is one of a rare breed - technical people who can write coherently. In fact, he's even at the top of that breed - he can write thoughtfully and entertainingly!

Try reading typical programmer-produced documents and source code comments for a while, and it'll be obvious why people keep coming back here.

Darren Collins
Sunday, October 27, 2002

Its the free ice-cream.

What? You didn't get yours yet?

Monday, October 28, 2002

<b>I</b> am Joel Spolsky.

Not Joel Spolsky
Monday, October 28, 2002

Few folk can "do," even fewer folks can tell you how they do it, and fewer still can tell you in writing.

But Joel kicks it up and notch.  He documents his opinions and strategies for us, then builds his software and his company based on them.  He does it right in front of our eyes.  Then he stands for criticism on this forum.  Sometimes he changes his mind.

It's a little like a magician telling how to do his tricks.

Many of us share his goals: small company, great co-workers, fun place to work, significant products, advancing the art little from time to time.

Monday, October 28, 2002


Isn't just a fantasy?

Monday, October 28, 2002

tk>>> Many of us share his goals: small company, great co-workers, fun place to work, significant products, advancing the art little from time to time. <<<

in...>>> Isn't just a fantasy? <<<

Such a work environment is possible.  I had one previous employer where, at least for some projects, we achieved many of those goals.  I actually enjoyed coming to work.  OTOH, a few projects with that same employer were among the most unpleasant I have ever been on.

But that is in the past, before the bubble burst.  That company doesn't exist any more.

Over the past couple of years I have been doing a bit of web surfing trying to find other employers that might be worth working for.  That is how I happened across this site.  There are mighty few of them.  One that I had been watching for a while went out of business after the bubble burst.  There are a couple more that I plan to submit a resume to in the not too distant future.

But I am not optimistic.  At this point it is not clear to me what the future of software development will be like.

Monday, October 28, 2002

As others have said, Joel is a real engineer who has well-thought-out-opinions who can present those opinions coherently and entertainingly.  That's why I come back.

Regarding work environments:  Sure, it's possible.  I've worked in some truly fun places in the past.  In fact, the workplace conditions are part of my decision to work there.  If I'm interviewed by a bunch of drones, and the environment seems dull, I won't take the job.

(BTW, excellent summary, tk)

Brent P. Newhall
Tuesday, October 29, 2002

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