There are too many software blogs.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of brilliant developers in our industry. But we’ve gone from sharing technical knowledge using books, which take 9 months to hit the shelves, to using monthly magazines, to weekly online articles, to technical blogs that are updated daily. How much new, worthwhile information can we possibly generate on the same subjects? Even worse is that blogs don’t have that careful noise filter that books, magazines and most online articles have: an editor. Anyone with a finger and an eMachine can crank out content. Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad, and a whole lot of it seems to be about software.
But I love software. I love the feeling of starting with a blank screen and creating a brilliant application with nothing but two hands and my good pal Mr. Qwerty. And great software tends to be made in one of two ways: through pure genius or dumb luck. It’s like leaving a piece of bread in your cupboard for a month; you may get mold or you may get Penicillin. And you need to know something about them to tell the difference.
At my first job out of college my boss, the CEO of a large electrical contracting firm, was known to ask employees:
“What business are we in?”
Most would say “electrical contracting,” which seems like a reasonable answer given the fact the were, in fact, in the electrical contracting business. But to this he would reply:
“We’re in the people business. The biggest reason we’re successful is because of our people.”
Since those days I’ve been a firm believer that every one of us is in the people business (no matter how much you might wish it weren’t so). That’s why I’ve chosen to use this blog to address the human side of creating software.
In the end it may be mold or it may be Penicillin. Stick around and decide for yourself.