Re: Market research
Change the rubber mallet to a ball peen hammer and I'm with you.
And I'm a developer.
16 posts • joined 20 Feb 2011
Change the rubber mallet to a ball peen hammer and I'm with you.
And I'm a developer.
My first civilian boss used to preach that there were five stages to business development:
5. Chapter 7.
Folklore reportedly had it that a sixth stage existed, between 4 and 5 on the above list, but nobody had managed to hit it yet.
There were reasons several industrial giants put valiant effort into remaining at Stage 3. When sales drives the company, you're very attentive to your actual, paying customers and what they want and think. Once you fall across the chasm into Stage 4, you become hostage to your own navel-gazing propaganda telling you what your future customers ought to want. Your existing customers; you know, the folks with money they want to give you? They're the ones who see your big ¡Sal si puedes! sign and take it to heart.
What's on second, and third base, I Don't Know.
Abbott & Costello would have been better co-CEOs for the last ten years of Vahoozon's demise, come to think of it.
I'm Chief Engineer of a Web dev shop that do a lot of Ruby and Elixir development; we're almost exclusively a Mac shop. In the last year, we've brought up Docker as a core piece of our technology stacks. We're not, as an organisation, progress-hostile; in fact, I've lost jobs, plural, before for being too far in the opposite direction.
Sierra is the first Mac OS upgrade *since Puma* (10.1; 2001) that the shop I worked for at the time hasn't been standardised on across the board within a fortnight of GM release. We don't anticipate moving to Sierra before what will probably be the 10.12.2 timeframe.
A small number of teething problems on a new release are unavoidable, but Sierra has been extreme in the number, severity, and breadth of problems reported through the channels I follow. The number of reports of Macs becoming partially or completely unusable after the update dwarfs anything I have seen before, probably collectively. Apple have had issues before; have had OS updates that just didn't seem worthwhile (we skipped Mavericks and went directly from Mountain Lion to Yosemite); and so on. Never in our experience, however, have Apple dropped the ball so spectacularly while clearly believing they had dropped a mic instead.
The market is ripe for true disruption. Many Mac shops are sticking with Apple but gnashing their teeth and looking about anxiously while doing so. Windows is almost mind-blowingly better than it was 5-10 years ago, but it still seems to lack the consistency and unobtrusiveness that have been traditional hallmarks of the Mac. No other OS besides OS X/macOS and Windows exists that has anything resembling the end-user-friendly interface, business-friendly licensing and support, and third-party application support of those two systems. (The Year of the Linux Desktop was circa 2003; it's gone off in a radically different, more successful direction since then.) Apple are focussed on their iOS platform (their current herd of cash cows) and simply haven't paid the same attention to Macs as in years past; witness the all-but-official demise of the Mac Pro and Mac mini.
There's nothing else out there for us, or for lots of other shops. Some say "Apple shouldn't take us (Mac users) for granted as much as they are now". Others say "Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"; Tim Cook and Jony Ive are brilliant in the supporting roles they held for years, but their unfettered leadership is proving a problem for the platform.
Where do we go?
Part of the reason for that is that, compared to when we got into the field (1970s for me), there are so few older guys (or women) in the industry now.
In any proper engineering discipline, experience is valued, and one does not attain "senior" or "principal" levels without decades (usually quite plural) of experience. For software, I've seen adverts for "senior software 'engineers'" asking for as little as 1-1/2 years of experience, and I saw a "chief 'engineer'" advert last week, for an established firm, that was asking for a piddly four years of experience.
In four years, from what I've seen, people usually get to the point where they begin to understand what the important questions are. It takes quite a while beyond that for anyone to be able to evaluate competing answers, and that's if they're disciplined about learning (which too few of us are). Admit it: how much of what you pick up is I-need-this-next-week-for-the-project-I'm-on, and how much is I-don't-know-when-I'm-going-to-need-this-but-it-could-come-in-handy? Technicians focus on the former; engineers mix in the latter.
The predictable result of that is that nobody "has time" to learn from their or others' less-than-successful experiences, which means that nobody HAS experience in the traditional sense — you just manage to guess right enough for two or three years and then go into management, or leave.
Is that any way to run anything that fancies itself a profession?
I'm always amused by how posts like this bring out the most insecure guys possible, who are so blinded by the Denning-Kruger effect that anything that potentially increases the number of people in tech is, by their definition, an existential threat.
When I first got into coding, in the 1970s, I grew to believe that we were 30 or 40 years away from software becoming a true engineering discipline, analogous to civil, aeronautic, or chemical engineering. It's presumed sentients like Bahboh here that remind me that we'll ALWAYS be "30 to 40 years away".
Here in the Democratic People's Republic of Singapore, (differing from "…of Korea" primarily by the presence of MASSIVE foreign investment), startups routinely die for lack of available talent. Four years ago when I was staffing up my most recent one here, I'd have given my eyeteeth for qualified people, male, female, or other. I've also had the opportunity here to see first-hand how the reinforcement of cultural divisions actively hinders a society from progressing.
As Watney makes abundantly clear, and with excruciatingly excellent justification, he views disco as being better than having nothing resembling music at all. Given the circumstances, a position which I can understand without necessarily agreeing. :)
Do you really want to listen to an announcer that talks fast enough to give accurate position fixes on an object moving that fast?
Which 'football' are we referring to; real football or the American spectacle of the same name?
Ah. You said 'field'. Everybody knows football is played on a 'pitch'. That resolves that confusion. Carry on…
It doesn't make sense from a practical standpoint — but then, the reason 'Murricans still use Imperial weights and measures has nothing to do with practicality and everything to do with emotional symbolism.
By pig-headedly sticking to Imperial units, and forcing all the companies that want to sell their products both in central North America and the Free(r) World to spend Saganesque billions of dollars in redundancy (labelling, packaging, inventory management and so on), 'Murricans are doing their considerable best to ensure that their products have a hard time being sold outside their borders, accelerating the out-of-control trade imbalance and hastening the demise of what once was the United States of America as a meaningful player in world trade. Maybe when world trade moves away from the US dollar as the global reserve currency, people will finally begin to understand how badly they've been screwed and why; my guess is they'll keep on lapping up the corporate propaganda that's replaced American news reporting and continue to blame every imaginable outside influence that scapegoats them having to take actual responsibility for and control of what in living memory was our country.
Things are going to keep accelerating downhill, and this is a poster-child-level reason for "why".
Paris for her corporately-groomed, information-free symbolism of what's wrong with America.
Mage, they've spent the last almost 40 years dismantling what had been one of the finest education systems in human history and replacing it with creationism, gossip, No Child Left Behind, and the Kardashians. (You may quibble about which of the four is more devastating to young intellects.)
As an American, I would be very surprised if there was any large-scale social, political or philosophical leadership coming out of the midsection of the North American continent for some years, if not decades. We're falling into the abyss of our very own Cultural Revolution, and we haven't yet even conceived of a 'bottom', let alone come within a parsec of hitting it. Things will get unfathomably worse before they start getting better, which is one reason why I'm no longer physically there.
that that "who needs computers, anyway" idea fits in awfully well with the know-nothing-or-even-less attitude being pushed as a replacement for intelligent discourse and debate these days in what used to be the United States? Wouldn't surprise me at all to read some future historian in a few decades paint a convincing case that the Kochs or other corporate minders of the "Tea Party" useful idiots were heavily invested in this sort of thing.
…in the US, in the sense that the high-school textbooks indoctrinate subjects to believe since at least 1974, and you can make an excellent case for 23 December 1913.
Back when the world was a collection of agrarian/subsistence economies that were each effectively governed locally, people could do something about that.
But concentration of power and wealth scaled a LOT faster than accountability or education, and that was pretty much the end of such charmingly quaint notions as "democracy" or "rule of law".
And good luck getting a tech this week if you're a GS-14 or below, by the way…unless you're in a corporate-welfare-oriented DoD or security-theatre role, of course
What you're describing is known as the Osborne Effect (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_effect). I had direct personal experience with the original... and now feel like a pole is being stuck backwards up the posterior of all (former) friends of Nokia.
…they can pry mine out of my cold, dead fingers. Though I expect they'll more likely use black Suburbans than black helicopters.
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