Ravi Mohan's Blog
Sunday, November 27, 2005
From Businessweek The suits inside Google don't fare much better than the outside pros. Several current and former insiders say there's a caste system, in which business types are second-class citizens to Google's valued code jockeys. They argue that it could prove to be a big challenge in the future as Google seeks to maintain its growth. They deem the corporate development team as underpowered in the company, with engineers and product managers tending to carry more clout than salesmen and dealmakers. So a 'caste system' in which 'business types' are second class hurts? How about the 'caste system' in place in most companies where the suits are on top? I guess that is the 'natural order of things' ? :-) The outlines of the 'caste system' in place in most 'India Development Centres' can be deduced by examining one expense item - tickets for international flights. Most 'business types' fly first or business class while the 'India Developer Assets' are packed into Economy Class. To see something even more interesting, examine what kind of tickets are bought for Caucasians vs Indians. Do I mind any of this? Not really. Any game is played in a particular fashion because all players agree to play it that way. It is upto people playing the game to make sure the rules are fair. What bothers me is the intellectual dishonesty in the implication that "business types on top" is natural but "techs on top" is not. I would have thought that the effectiveness of any company's internal structure would be judged by how successful it is. And by that metric Google is outstandingly successful. So may be the 'new caste system' is 'valid' after all? I wonder if anyone is working for a "casteless" company? What would such a beast look like? Update: Slashdot has picked up the businessweek story
Thursday, November 24, 2005
From mini-msft "... Shanghai: the same week various posts come out discussing working with Microsoft engineers in China, also noted by Dare, I took a moment to do a deep dive understanding how things are going over there and what kind of work is getting done. Seems as though most people are very happy with the high quality, hard-work, and ability to deal with Microsoft-Redmond's capricious rearchitecture du jour coming out of China. I haven't heard much in the way of complaints at all, as compared to working with Hyderabad. Microsoft India had best watch out - you guys might get outsourced to China, lending a whole new modern usage to Shanghaied. ..." Go China go!!!!!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Brian Marick writes about Story Cards which contain only the name of the story, thus encouraging developers to talk to the customer before writing code. This resonates with me for two reasons.
- I have seen "agile" projects start out by writing story titles on story cards, then add "supplementary" MS Word documents, then write even more bloated documents etc, and then people start saying "but that is not in the document" ,"let us update the document" etc.
- These days, I am very leery of what I see as an artificial split between "analyst" and "developer".
DabbleDb "combines the best of group spreadsheets, custom databases, and intranet web applications into a new way to manage and share your information online". It has smalltalk(Squeak ? ) and Seaside on the backend and is simply mindblowing. Watch the dabbledb movie(warning 113 Mb .mov file) if you haven't already.