Category Archives: Opinion

Get a Job

I’ve just read this piece by Thomas L. Friedman. He has won three Pulitzer prizes so I’m pretty sure I have the upper hand here. (He was the Beirut bureau chief in 1982!? Come on! Get a serious journalist on this nerdy stuff.)

I dropped out of school. I was never very good at it. I did well in classes I liked. Anthropology and history among them. Those were the avenues I pursued in university but I dropped out. I chose to go to a technical college to get some credible backing for how good I was at being a computer nerd. What I came away with, after the placement program in particular, was what it meant to be a professional programmer.

It’s corny and it’s dumb but you can often get the job you dream of through sheer hard work. The trick is that the job you dreamed of doesn’t exist. You’ve not made it. You’re not living the dream. You’re working. If you don’t love the work then you’ll not love the job.

Loving the work comes and goes. When you’re riding high everything is terrific. When you’re in a rut it’s all awful. That’s part of the game. You’re a dummy. Sometimes. You’re brilliant some other times.

What does any of this have to do with getting a job? Well, I just laid out the job and if you’re still in then that’s a good first step. The second step is to look for another job. You’re smart. It may well make you much happier. Do it.

If you’re still here then it’ll be rough but it might work out. The truth behind these interviews is that the people who are hiring are looking for dedicated, passionate and remarkable thinkers. You don’t get a short cut to that.

– Guy

Preaching To The Choir

The opportunity to participate as an attendee at this year’s WWDC has come and gone. Pretty much. Barring intervention.

I didn’t submit my name for a ticket. I’ve attended each year since Rogue Amoeba were so kind to send me only months after I’d been hired. That was years ago. This will be the first year I won’t be able to attend the sessions, roam the halls, or bump into people doing the same.

For all the talk of fairness to long time developers it’s my belief that Apple acts as a corporation. They do what they do because it is in their best interests. Mostly. They’re also a bunch of people who believe in their mission and would bend over backwards to make things better.

Ultimately, we can’t all go to WWDC. I’ve been there and, man, it takes downing a couple of Odwalla’s just to get through the line ups for the most popular sessions.

Someone like me? I’m pretty much sold. WWDC is an evangelism event. The goal is to share new technologies and expand the developer base of the platform. It is, by far, the most important outreach program Apple has to developers. They’ve got about 5,000 seats. Having people like me laughing it up with pals at Apple in the halls is a waste of their resources. I love it. But it’s kinda dumb.

You don’t preach to the choir. You preach to the world.

– Guy

PS: Someone fix Siracusa up with a ticket.

Where’s the letter to Samsung?

Apple was questioned when they introduced fingerprint scanning technology with the iPhone 5S. Samsung has now introduced a new model of phone that also scans fingerprints.

The leading question asked by both Daring Fireball and at Loop Insight is why was Apple asked about their fingerprint scanner while Samsung got a pass? The implication is that, somehow, the American senate is showing preferential treatment to a South Korean company over an apple pie, fourth of July, 100% American company. Or, perhaps, that lawmakers are grandstanding to make a show of how they’re on top of things.

The argument is that this kind of questioning is unfair to Apple and I disagree. This is the level of scrutiny that we’d hope governments gave to all our industries, all our corporations. Not intervention or direction, but putting in the work to try to understand what is going on. We can debate the reasons that Apple is questioned but, ultimately, the answer is simple.

Apple is held to a higher standard of conduct. They’ve spent years, countless hours of hard work and untold advertising dollars to earn that expectation. They have it. When location data or fingerprints, both incredibly obviously hot topics, need to be explained it is Apple that is put in the hot seat. Because they are expected to meet our highest standards.

While Samsung may be shipping a fingerprint scanning technology that isn’t as secure as the one Apple has doesn’t mean Samsung is getting a free pass. It means that they asked the experts, Apple, and they got an answer. So hearing, “fingerprint scanning” doesn’t set off the fire alarms anymore.

Apple is now in a position where it sets the conversation. It has a canny ability to use that advantageously. Sometimes, it bites them.

It will be time to start worrying about Apple when you stop seeing them pilloried.