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The Freemarket Freelancer

7 minute read

Thumbnail image for 'The Freemarket Freelancer' Movie making, like software development, is a strangely ephemeral business. We debate a series of abstract ideas and then, suddenly, one of them gets the green light and many people are swiftly mobilised, shifting the entire focus of their daily existence to realising the idea. And then it’s done. And all that remains is a kind of multi-media memorial to all that effort. This transience is the reason why both the film and software i...

Happy Software

6 minute read

Here’s a common scenario: you are out with some former co-workers and one of them asks if you know someone you could recommend for a project they are starting. Beyond the obvious technology or skill matching, what’s the main basis on which you would recommend someone? For most of us it will be something about their attitude, specifically having a positive one, making them good to work with. People who are positive and enthusiastic make dealing with the inevitable vicissitudes of project life ...

The Competence Debt

7 minute read

Thumbnail image for 'The Competence Debt' It’s only hard to find the toilets on your first day I just finished reading The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. As technology management books go it’s by far the most refreshing, honest and illuminating thing I have read in years. I strongly recommend buying the book. The profits go to a good cause too. I didn’t know much about Ben Horowitz, other than an awareness that he’s half of the VC power duo Andreessen-Horowitz,...

Software Economics

15 minute read

Thumbnail image for 'Software Economics' Now the project was fundedwe could all go back to playing Candy Crush Software projects cost a lot of money. Some of them stretch to sums that would have made Howard Hughes cry like a two-year-old being babysat by Marilyn Manson. It’s lucky that so many are funded by big companies and government institutions with deep, continuously-filled, pockets because otherwise nothing would ever get finished. Yet a lot of very good software is al...

No More Rock Stars

16 minute read

Thumbnail image for 'No More Rock Stars' When I was seventeen I bought a stack of Lou Reed records. I didn’t really know that much about Lou Reed but there was this girl. And she really liked him. And I really liked her. So I needed to get into Lou Reed quickly. I started where everyone starts with Lou reed - the 1972 classic Transformer - by any standards an impeccable piece of work with its heady mix of brash sexual metaphors and delicate vocals. Then I explored forwards ...