Cool to see Fog Creek succeed like this. I've been following Joel for almost fifteen years (the now defunct Fog Creek message boards were some of the best on the internet for a couple of years).
From the beginning Joel made a simple assertion: Hire great people, give them a great environment, then sit back and watch them kick ass. He said this before all of this became conventional industry wisdom (and probably played a major role ushering it in). With products like CityDesk, FogBugz, and Copilot failing or seemingly meandering, it didn't really seem like much would come of it. But they kept at it and look at them now. I guess good software does take ten years (give or take) .
Of course it didn't hurt that Joel is one of the best bloggers who ever done it, and I'm sure at least Stack Overflow benefited tremendously from being seeded with Joel's captive audience, but they have still executed the hell out of it and continue to do so, and obviously continue to spawn awesome stuff on the side.
I agree. It's so strange now that I will often make references to Joel or his essays in talks and no-one will know who I'm talking about. I always have to explain that back in the day there were two big software essayists - PG and Joel. No youngsters knows Joel's stuff now - the internet's great at getting you today's news, yesterday's tends to get lost underfoot.
Joel if you're listening please come back to blogging. You're a great writer and I think you've got such an utterly different perspective on things now after having done SE and Trello that it would be a massive waste for you not to share it back with the world again.
I entered this industry in February 2012, but his essays have still had a major impact on me as a developer. Part of the credit for this goes to Jeff Atwood, who has retained a lot more visibility than Joel, for frequently linking back to early internet writing.
I think it's a cultural osmosis thing. If the older developers mention stuff like "We're a 9 on the Joel test" or "Obviously we shouldn't do a rewrite, what are we Netscape" or "Are code base is large enough that the tooling requires static typing" People will read the essays. If all anyone is talking about is tech-crunch, probably not
I've read it and I'd say that Steve Yeggie is making generalizations about static type systems using greatest common divisor of them all: Java.
He attributes the need for patterns to OCaml type system, where they aren't needed, for example. Or assumes that you need all interfaces up front.
Both those assumptions are not true!
I think SY is good at jealous humor like his post about "academy found an software engineer who cares about Haskell". That's his natural domain. I believe everything he writes is homorous and jealous, that way I don't have to think he is just plain stupid.
22, read most of Joel’s blog when I was 16, despite living in Nigeria with Snow.
I can’t imagine the youngsters of today never wondering who stands behind SO—and that brings you to JoS and CH too.
I’ve seen a different opinion though: people claiming Joel and Jeff spoiled a generation of developers by presenting subjective opinions as self-evident truths in the form of feel-good light reading. I don’t subscribe to this viewpoint but it’s worth mentioning.
His essays were collected into a book. One copy of the book is in the Fort Vancouver Regional Library system. Also, I somehow managed to find and read his entire blog a couple years ago. His writing is not completely lost in time.
This is actually my favorite opening line to use at talks: "My name is Kasra and I run the mobile team at Stack Exchange. The first response I always get after I tell people that is 'why does the stock exchange need mobile apps?' and I'm here to explain that to you today, except you know, with the right company name."
Yes, an interesting definition of failing (I'd be happy to fail like that). Incidentally, you may be pleased to know that I continue to use the FogBugz homepage / website as my go-to example of great 'websites that sell stuff'.
Completely agree. Before HN became big, JoS forums (especially the Business Of Software forum) were my go to place to connect with fellow technologists. That is where I originally learned about Patrick Mckenzie.
Personally, Joel has been a big inspiration for me. He pretty much shaped how I view software development by writing those all time classic articles.
I know that for some people, this is an issue. The problem is the cost of switching to another name. For a ten year old product, the cost is IMMENSE. It can definitely be done, but it's a hard problem.
Naming is also really hard. We spent TONS of time picking out the name Trello and just narrowly avoided naming it something really stupid by serendipity. (The code name was Trellis, but all the domains were taken and we insisted on having a dotcom url).
We use it at work, and in fact my boss considers it and Kiln the best source control and bug/issue tracking software around, and I think it's pretty fantastic as well. The automatic gantt chart and probability of shipping metrics are pretty amazing. I don't know of anything else that lets you use git or Hg on the same repositories, which is great since you don't have to force your team to use one or the other.
Honestly, that sounds like a sad place to work. If the name just sounds "silly" you must not be working around software people that are very knowledgeable about the industry, otherwise they would know about FogBugz and Joel by now. I imagine many "enterprise" places are probably like that.
Joel is definitely a hero (to me) but I think this is unfortunately very far from conventional industry wisdom. Conventional industry wisdom is SW is easy, all SW people are interchangeable cogs, stick them in a cubicle and micromanage them...