Saturday, July 12, 2008

Technobrief #3

Summary: Recent discoveries: software, articles, videos, quotes, humor, and more.

Since the last technobrief, I have added the following to the list of items worth checking out:

  • From A progressive view of IT by Bob Lewis:
    ManagementSpeak: We just upgraded to a new version of the software.
    Translation: Not only does the software not work the way you expect it to, it doesn't work at all.
  • Tablefy tool for creating and publishing comparison charts of any items.
  • Tips for New Bloggers offers great tips for Blogspot (Blogger) users.
  • From Why I Still Use Windows Despite the Peer Pressure by Adam Frucci:
    "And you know what? Macs are too hip. Oh, look at me! I do graphic design! I wear women's jeans and hang out in coffee shops! I'm a DJ! Well good for you. My computer is not a fashion statement. It's a computer."
  • From The Road to FogBugz 4.0: Part I by Joel Spolsky:
    "RFP stands for "Request for Proposal." It's a request by a large company for a custom proposal from a small company. The small company works on the 200 page laser-printed proposal like mad for three weeks and Fedexes it in great expense and at the last minute, where it gets put in the trash because the large company has their favorite vendor who takes them on a helicopter to Atlantic City on junkets involving blackjack and strippers, and who is going to get the contract no matter what, but someone in purchasing for some unexplained reason, maybe he's bucking for a promotion is insisting that the proposal be opened up to "competitive bidding" and the small company has been chosen as a victim to write up a proposal that has no chance of being accepted just to make the process look a little bit less corrupt, and if you're a small company, I would recommend that you don't fall for it and don't spend any time responding to RFPs unless it's already understood that you're going to get the contract."
  • From Done, and Gets Things Smart by Steve Yegge:
    "All too often I find myself on interview loops where the candidate knows a seemingly astounding amount about coding, computer science, software engineering, and general industry topics, but we find out at the last minute that they can't code Hello, World in any language."
  • From How Do You Find the Best Employees for Your Company? by Dare Obasanjo:
    "The real barrier is that most employers [...] expect people to want to work for them which means they'll get a flood of awful resumes, put a bunch of candidates through the flawed interview process only to eventually get tired of the entire charade and finally hire the first warm body to show up after they reach their breaking point."
  • From Acting Squirrelly: If SAP could make R/3 easier to use they would do it, right? by Robert X. Cringely:
    "SAP and companies like it do something similar by making powerful software that is quite deliberately difficult to use. They could make it easier. Heck, the capability to make it easier is shipped right with the software, though never pointed out to the customer. I used to think this was a matter of geek machismo, where higher value was placed on processes that were more difficult to command simply because it could be used to maintain for the techies an upper hand against management. But now I think it's much simpler than that and SAP just wants its software to be more difficult to use because that maximizes revenue."
  • From a 2003 e-mail rant by Bill Gates:
    " is a terrible website."

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