Wanke Wanker, Nike Style Developers and The Big Secret

An interesting article about Windows developers:

“This late in the development process, bugs are often passed along, or “punted,” to the next Windows release–Longhorn–if they’re not sufficiently problematic.
On the day I attended, one feature group had four of its bugs punted to Longhorn because they had failed to shown up for War Room. When someone argued that they should be given another day, Wanke simply said, “F#$% ’em. If it was that important, they would have been here. It’s in Longhorn. Next bug. “

I bet that when Dave Cutler was around, nobody missed meetings like that. Probably because Cutler would have punted them.

And this is just a good proof of what Joel keeps saying about superstar developers :
“I went out and handpicked the three best developers on the team and said, ‘just go and fix it.’ One developer fixed over 7,000 references to [Windows] .NET Server. Let’s just say that there are people I trust, and people I don’t trust. I told these guys, ‘don’t tell me what you’re doing. Just do it.”

From the first part of the article
“Originally, we were targeting NT to the Intel i860, a RISC processor that was horribly behind schedule. Because we didn’t have any i860 machines in-house to test on, we used an i860 simulator. That’s why we called it NT, because it worked on the ‘N-Ten.’ “

Huh. Now they tell us.

Stroking the Genius

Right now am pretty much obsessed with books about rise and fall of tech companies.

These are the most memorable books I’ve read this past year:
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything
Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Show-Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows Nt and the Next Generation at Microsoft
The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: Inside Oracle Corporation: God Doesn’t Think He’s Larry Ellison
High Stakes, No Prisoners : A Winner’s Tale of Greed and Glory in the Internet Wars
The Soul of a New Machine
The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer

Awesome, awesome stuff. I should find time to write some reviews.

I purchased all of these books used (except “Soul of a New Machine” which I just _had_ to have at the time). Some were cheap, others surprisingly expensive. For instance my copy of “Hackers” set me back $30 or $40 because it was out of print at the time. A new edition came out very soon thereafter. Interestingly enough the same thing happened with “Alan Turing: The Enigma“. “The Supermen” was the most expensive at $50. I am still hunting for acceptably priced “The Legend of Amdahl“.

I just finished reading “Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton“. It was very good.

Right now I am reading “Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed“, which is orgasmically [spellchecker suggested “orgasmic ally” heh heh] good.

I really want to buy one of those highlighter scanners made by C-Pen so that I can keep notes for my livejournal as I read.

C-Pen’s slogan is “Stroke of Genius”. Beavis and Butthead would have a field day with them :)