Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Dustin Getz
Dustin's posts

Post has attachment

re: whats-the-waiter-doing-with-the-computer-screen[1]

There's this awesome karaoke bar in Philly where you can rent private rooms with their own karaoke machine. the interface is so bad, that I, a software engineer, was unable to get it to work reliably. so naturally I start thinking about how I could build a business around karaoke machines with nice UX and rent them. But it turns out a karaoke machine is useless without a library of content, and the company that builds them is a subsidiary of a Japanese label thus can negotiate discounts with content owners. It's just not something that's easy to compete with.

Anyway, I go to this karaoke bar about 6 times a year and drop a hundred bucks each time. I don't think they care to invest in UX right now ;)

If software is your business's core competency, and you're competing on UX, you may be doing it wrong.


Post has attachment

Post has shared content
fascinating. postgres is an example of clean code as a strategy for clean product (need cite about them agonizing over changes to make sure no bugs introduced). compare to mysql, which has a history of people hating it, and much more cowboy-coded feel to the source.
People who like git wouldn't be so chirpy about it if they read its source.

Post has shared content
Tomasz Kozlowski (Wingspan)
I hate almost all software. It's unnecessary and complicated at almost every layer. At best I can congratulate someone for quickly and simply solving a problem on top of the shit that they are given. The only software that I like is one that I can easily understand and solves my problems. The amount of complexity I'm willing to tolerate is proportional to the size of the problem being solved.

In the past year I think I have finally come to understand the ideals of Unix: file descriptors and processes orchestrated with C. It's a beautiful idea. This is not however what we interact with. The complexity was not contained. Instead I deal with DBus and /usr/lib and Boost and ioctls and SMF and signals and volatile variables and prototypal inheritance and _C99_FEATURES_ and dpkg and autoconf.

Those of us who build on top of these systems are adding to the complexity. Not only do you have to understand $LD_LIBRARY_PATH to make your system work but now you have to understand $NODE_PATH too - there's my little addition to the complexity you must now know! The users - the one who just want to see a webpage - don't care. They don't care how we organize /usr, they don't care about zombie processes, they don't care about bash tab completion, they don't care if zlib is dynamically linked or statically linked to Node. There will come a point where the accumulated complexity of our existing systems is greater than the complexity of creating a new one. When that happens all of this shit will be trashed. We can flush boost and glib and autoconf down the toilet and never think of them again.

Those of you who still find it enjoyable to learn the details of, say, a programming language - being able to happily recite off if NaN equals or does not equal null - you just don't yet understand how utterly fucked the whole thing is. If you think it would be cute to align all of the equals signs in your code, if you spend time configuring your window manager or editor, if put unicode check marks in your test runner, if you add unnecessary hierarchies in your code directories, if you are doing anything beyond just solving the problem - you don't understand how fucked the whole thing is. No one gives a fuck about the glib object model.

The only thing that matters in software is the experience of the user.

Post has shared content
Truly eye-opening: According to a recent book, The Hedge Fund Mirage (, by Simon Lack, from 1998 to 2010, 84% of the investment gains of the entire hedge fund industry went to the managers, and only 16% to the investors. The thievery of our "financial industry" beggars the mind. Never mind the 1%! This is a tiny fraction of the 1% fleecing the rest of the 1%.

According to The Financial Times:

"In fact, concludes Mr Lack, while many hedge fund managers have prospered from hefty fees, the bulk of their investment gains have not been shared with clients. On an asset-weighted basis, measuring cash invested to cash returned, hedge fund investors in aggregate, while narrowly beating the average return from equities, would have made more money over the past decade from investing in government bonds, and even from Treasury Bills.

"Of course the experience of 2008 colours these figures. According to Mr Lack, the hedge fund industry lost more money in that one year than all the profits it had generated during the previous 10 years. In fact most likely, he says, is that hedge funds lost more money for their investors in 2008 than the industry had made in its entire history. If true, that would put the industry up there with airlines and banks in the annals of long-term, non-productive performers from an investor perspective.

"Not that the managers have suffered the same way, of course. That is the brilliance of the hedge fund model. Between 1998 and 2010, the book shows, _even on favourable assumptions hedge fund managers earned an estimated $379bn in fees, out of total investment gains (before fees) of $449bn. In other words, they took 84 per cent of the investment profits their funds made, leaving just 16 per cent for the investors.

"Once you make adjustments for survivorship bias, fund of funds fees and so on, it is probable, he suggests, that hedge fund managers have kept all the money made, and investors have in aggregate received nothing_." [italics mine]

Post has shared content
andrew, this is you!

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
programmer productivity varies by the codebase. some codebases make tasks easy, others make them harder than they have to be. if this is so, you should hire programmers who will write code that makes the whole team more productive.

question of the day: Is There Value to Writing Code you Don't Understand
Wait while more posts are being loaded