Whether this is a good idea or not, I have no idea. I is an interesting social experiment and it will be interesting to see the results.
But, does anyone else see a Criminal Minds episode in this? Lonely road; quiet, dark house; dank alley; victims are found one after another, the only thing tying them all together is their organ donor status on their facebook page. The villain turns out be the husband of someone who died waiting for a kidney, lung, or heart transplant.
I think one of the best things employers can do to show that they respect their employees is to invert the decision making and control structure in the organization. Similarly to what Agile/XP did for the software development sector. Instead of having managers and CxOs make all the decisions, allow the people closest to the situation, with all the facts, make the decision and be responsible for that decision. Create small teams that are self organizing and imbue those teams with the power to truly own and produce the solution to the problems that they face and are trying to solve.
I personally feel that the main problem with organizations and employee happiness and retention is the current system of command and control where all employees are assumed to be idiots that need to be micro-managed. How is anyone suppose to be happy in that kind of environment? Work should not be an extension of school where we store and manage people in order to keep them out of trouble until they are old enough to retire. No, work should be a place where people want to go because they know that they own a little bit of that business and are really responsible for its success and/or failure.
Good luck with your suggestion. We're almost two years into switching over from waterfall to Agile/XP and I can tell you that it can be painful. Wait until your first meeting, when you are asked why are your story points are down for this sprint? or, why didn't your finish your task that you put up on the board yesterday?
I think a good work environment has more to do with the way management executes on priorities, how the information is communicated to those involved, trust between the business unit and information technology group, and the level of respect/trust between the managers and their employees.
Agile doesn't solve problems with management and or managers, it's just a different way of getting work done.
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We are looking for smart, passionate people dedicated to delivering quality software and who are willing to leave their ego at the door. We love differing ideas and debates, but we are a team and we succeed or fail based on the strength of that team.
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I find that in tech culture--startups, coders, hackers alike--there is an attitude that if you don't live, breath, sleep your profession that you will fail. And I wonder if this idea that for a startup to succeed you have to give 24/7 comes from that attitude.
One ruby conference, there were two talks by startup founders, the one presenter stated that the only way to succeed was to work 24/7 while the other presenter stated that success only came through working smart and taking time off to recharge and do other things. Both were successful. Personally, I have other things that I want to do and the sooner we can abolish this startup myth the better.
I always find it interesting that Babe Ruth was, at the same time, the home run leader and the strike out leader. If you swing for the fences, chances are, you will fail more than you win. Hitting singles, consistently, is actually far more beneficial for both you and the team that you work with.
Babe Ruth also had the second-best career on-base-percentage in the history of baseball. He hit a ton of singles in addition to his home runs. He was an incredible athlete and defied the current mindset to try for home runs when he thought the time was right. Sometimes he got fooled and ended up striking out, but he wasn't a pure swing-for-the-fences hitter.
(You should look to somebody like Rob Deer if you're looking for someone who swung for the fences almost all the time.)
To further your point, the very highest on base % player ever was none other than Barry Bonds, the greatest HR hitter ever. The mere threat of him connecting was enough to convince record numbers of opponents let him walk for free... much like moves by Zuck now or billg back in the day sent everyone else in the tech world scrambling.
Singles are nice. I'd love to have an Ichiro on my team. But I'd take top notch slugger over him any day.
I agree with only one point in the article; the ability to delete tests. Tests of all kinds should be living, breathing code, just like the code in the rest of your application. As such, tests, like production code, can become outdated and obsolete and need to be updated, changed, and sometimes deleted.
However, I do not agree with the idea that tests are evil. If your tests are failing, or breaking regularly, or are hard to write, then your tests are trying to tell you something. Tests are a direct mirror of the state of your code. If your tests are brittle and hard to manage, don't delete the tests, fix your code. If you need to instantiate a tonne of objects in order to make your tests work, fix your methods dependencies and learn to test your methods in isolation of its dependencies.
Any production code needs tests, this is non-negotiable in today's development eco-system. But I get tired of people who do not understand the purpose of tests complaining that tests are evil. If there is a problem with your tests, then your tests are telling you there is a problem with your code. Clean up your code in order to clean up your tests. However, remember that as code changes, your tests will need to change as well. It is okay to edit, delete, change tests to reflect the current state of the application. Just change the tests first to express how you want to interact with a specific bit of code and then change the code, not the other way around.
So voluntary blackouts in protest of SOPA are to be stopped because they are dangerous gimmicks, but a bill that will allow the government to blackout websites isn't?
How exactly are these people so blind to this kind of obvious contradiction? It completely baffles me that any intelligent human can see this bill as a good thing.
It also scares me that politicians and lobby groups are using the idea of protecting "American" jobs as one of the main selling points for getting this bill past. It is far to obvious that American hasn't realized that to survive in this world one must join the global community and not either separate oneself from it nor try to rule it.
As others have stated, how well someone codes is less important than how good a cultural and personal fit they are for the company. I want to know how passionate someone is, how well they do when pair programming, how well they communicate, etc in addition to knowing how well they can code. I can teach someone, who is willing, how to be a great coder, but I cannot teach someone how to fit well into the company culture or with my team.
In addition, I know too many developers who I would hire in a heartbeat that do not have repos on Github and far too many developers that I never want to work with that do have repos.
I also find it curious that on http://githire.com/order, when I refresh the page and see people like 37Signals and Omni show up. Not sure they are looking for new gigs.
To me, Open Internet is the same as an open city. SOPA is like going into a city and shutting down a street corner because someone was heard quoting passages from a book or giving away pirated movies. It's ridiculous. Instead of closing down the website (the street corner) close down the people behind the site.
The US, instead of enacting laws that restrict movement, needs to put into place laws that make copyright infringement illegal. Oh wait, they already have them.
In short, go after the people not the domain. I want to be able to walk around the internet the same way I can walk around a city. If there are seedy places online then it is my choice to avoid them and not the governments right to simply declare them quarantined or off limits.
I am sure it's a great presentation, but I always have trouble believing these when the photo of the presenter has him wearing a suit. I want to see presentations by developers and developers do not wear suits. Those are for sales people.
I should have added this in the reply instead of as a new comment: I hear you - though Dan is an educator vs a sales guy. Super smart guy with a masters in electrical engineering and computer science plus an MBA. If you want a pure dev guy speaking in jeans though, check out: Selecting the Right NoSQL Tool for the Job http://www.dataversity.net/archives/6774.