My friend @AvantSavant sent me an interesting article pointing out that IBM has stopped breaking out its corporate headcount by country. In the past, IBM would disclose in its annual reports not only its total employee count (399,409 as of December 31, 2009… yikes), but also the number of those employees currently employed in the United States.
Personally, I have little doubt that this is indicative of IBM’s international “rebalancing.” IBM is moving jobs overseas because wages there are cheaper.
Big Gig Austin is a community effort to bring Google’s upcoming gigabit fiber beta to Austin. This would be a huge deal for Austin, both in terms of marketing and in terms of bringing new entrepreneurs and software ventures here. Bandwidth like that from Google would bring a new wave of high-tech businesses to Austin and help revitalize Austin’s lagging status as a high-tech mecca.
Want to support Austin’s effort to become a Big Gig?
As I started building the latest Consumetrics iPhone app over the weekend, I had to choose which keyboard style to use for some input fields like name, email, and so on. These fields live in a “settings table” (really just a grouped table with input fields on it), so picking keyboards in Interface Builder is out of the question, unfortunately, since I require some pretty customized cells. Naturally, I checked the documentation first, where I was confronted by this plethora of options:
My company, Consumetrics, is currently in the process of raising money for operations. (Please forgive the terrible website. We know, and we’re working on it!) We’re considering several options for raising our first tranche — angel investors, high net-worth individuals, even a couple seed-stage venture capital funds — but our most recent attempt at raising capital was with the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
These guys have, and they make some pretty cool music with it:
I’ve been listening to one of my Pandora stations based on Gravity by Sara Bareilles (who is awesome, by the way) a lot lately. Ingrid Michaelson has been a happy discovery from this station, as has Brooke Fraser. I’d never heard of either of them, but by the power of the Music Genome Project I now have 2 new artists I really like and can listen to them every day. For free.
Pandora is so cool.
Anyway, the point of all this is that On the Radio by Regina Spektor just came on. This song has come on my Pandora before, and I’ve listened to it and liked it, but for whatever reason these lyrics really stopped me tonight as I was working:
Writing software is hard. If the guy next to you hasn’t created ten new bugs, management hasn’t added 10 new features, the customer hasn’t tightened the due date by a week, and your technical lead hasn’t passed a new programming commandment (“Thou shalt not use identifiers with fewer than 4 characters!”) – all by noon – then it’s a good day in Developerstan.
Writing software is hard enough just dealing with the practical, every-day, mundane bits without even having to think about the difficulty added by the actual technical work itself. To write really good, clean, correct code, the programmer has to have a million tiny things in his head – “What does
Integer.parseInt() throw if it fails?” “Which directory is
ServletContext.getResourceAsStream() relative to?” “Which language is this product in again?” – before he can even write a single line of code. And the really good programmer has to check all his assumptions and return codes before he can even get down to business.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your tools yelled at you when you miss something?
You know, I made a promise to myself that I would blog during the MSTC program to help me remember the process and the material they covered. That worked really well, until the choice came down to getting 4 hours of sleep, or writing a blog post. Based on my posting history for the last year and a half, I bet you can guess which one i chose.
Anyway! Internet, I’m back, and you’re not safe anywhere. Lots has happened in the last 18 months, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the old blogging bronco to talk about some of it.