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I can only speak as to Apple as of 2004-2009, when I was there. It was intensely pragmatic, much more so than other companies of comparable size I'd been at. The focus was on shipping, and whatever it took to get product out the door. Once projects were no longer directly in the gaze of Barad-dûr, however, politics set in and things ossified rapidly.

Day to day in my world was a lot of C, Objective-C and C++, with Python for rapid prototyping and glue code; Java formed the backbone of the store infrastructure, but there was plenty of other stuff going on. Fairly standard architecture (huge Oracle DB, loads of web servers). Teams tended to be undermanned, so there was constant tension between getting stuff done and standardization; much of the time, the wrong balance was struck, meaning that people couldn't easily switch roles, but still had a lot of bureaucratic scutwork to manage. Things were improving when I left, and I imagine that they have continued to do so.




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