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@casual_juergen: No need to apologise! You didn't come across negatively at all. You just had a different take than I did. I'm not yet so bitter and twisted that I become offended when someone looks at the world in a more positive way than I do! :)
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
@casual_juergen: It's funny isn't it -- IMHO that comment of Jeff's at the "Stack Exchange 2.0" link that you mentioned is a low point in that otherwise frank, open and informative discussion. That comment, like Jeff's entire article above, attempts to minimise the importance of making money as one of Jeff's goals with SO, implying that either he's ashamed of making money (perhaps believing that it unfairly comes at the expense of others), or believes others will see it that way and react negatively (which could well be accurate, sadly). Despite the fact that Jeff and Joel surely believe (as I do) that SO has genuine value to the programming community, and that they love doing this work, they are not doing it purely for love and no other reason, and to hear Jeff imply that they are, or that they only charge enough to cover costs, is disingenuous. To me, to come out and tell the world in a blog post that you are not "in it for the money" is protesting too much. It's a misdirection aimed at either relieving a guilty conscience, or (my guess) placating the envious hordes. Maybe Jeff and Joel really are underpaying themselves -- in effect donating much of their time to SO. That would be a noble thing to do. But in that case I don't want to hear about this noble act from them any more than I want to hear some guy brag about how much he gives to charity each year. Maybe it's just a cultural thing, but where I come from (New Zealand) a certain amount of modesty in these matters is the norm. But in truth I doubt this "Let's underpay ourselves" scenario is actually happening. Anyway, those are just my feelings and opinions, and you're certainly welcome to disagree. Many people say they have found this article to be one of Jeff's more inspiring ones, which is something that amazes me, but there you go. As I said I think SO is fantastic, and Jeff is a very entertaining writer.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
StackOverflow is fantastic, and Jeff is a fantastic writer. Which is why it hurts to read this article, which comes across exactly like this: "Don't hate me because I'm rich, since I'm trying hard not to be." There are a couple of things wrong with this. 1. It's OK to want money. Really. Just because some people will be envious, and there are others who want money to an unhealthy degree, does not mean money, or desiring money, is inherently bad. You can be a good person who is also well-off. 2. What's certainly not OK is to say you're doing something purely for intrinsic satisfaction, and at the same time charge $129 a month for it. Your attempts to take the focus off this fact by highlighting how much intrinsic enjoyment you also get from the process of coding I find a bit sickening. I feel condescended to. If you are lucky enough to be in a position where you can afford to do something purely for the intrinsic satisfaction of it, that's wonderful. In that case, it's prudent to look around you, notice that not everyone is that lucky, and consider whether talking loudly about your position of luxury would be rude. So even if you were offering Stack Exchange for free, I would advise you to go easy on talking about how much you enjoy programming for its own sake. No doubt you do get a lot of satisfaction from working on Stack Exchange, and naturally you want to tell people about it. Here's my suggestion: Don't. Or at the very least, openly admit at the same time that it's a profitable venture and that you hope it will continue to be. Yes, I'm telling you to risk offending the envious so that you can be taken seriously by everyone else. You're doing great work Jeff, take some pride in the success (including the financial success) you're experiencing. Don't flaunt it, but don't apologise for it either. And please don't try to pretend you're working for free.
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
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Jun 3, 2010