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Luke Puplett
Tunbridge Wells
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I think this is one of the most important skills anyone can possess, programmer or not. I'm 34 and I'm only just beginning to understand why I have gone through my life as bit of a Cassandra. I've watched, frustrated, as I've told those sitting next to me about the mistakes being made all around me, about product ideas that then come successfully to market years later, and I have often suspected that the problem is actually me. I came from a working class British family so I've been brought up dis-empowered. In Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers, he talks about a study between working and middle class parenting and concludes simply that middle-class parents endow their offspring with the feeling of entitlement, of power and equality and the belief that they are masters of their own universe. While in a book store on holiday, I randomly bought a book that I'd normally never look at. It was cheap and appeared to be an easy, friendly read. It's called "Life's a Pitch" and although it deals with putting together a compelling sales pitch/presentation, it also talks about how the same principles apply across your entire life. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifes-Pitch-Stephen-Bayley/dp/0552156833 I'm very glad you thought to write about this, Jeff, it's a remarkably important trait, arguably more so than technical skills. If you have a great idea and can persuade someone to lend you money, then you can persuade great technical people to build it, then persuade people to buy it. If I could buy just a single personality trait, the power of persuasion would be it.
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2012 on But You Did Not Persuade Me at Coding Horror
"Heck, maybe a tablet is better than traditional PCs, because it sidesteps all the accumulated cruft and hacks the PC ecosystem has accreted over the last 30 years" Bam! That's the nail, right there, and you just hit it. In order to truly move forward, you need a clean slate. The problem for Windows 8 is that it brings the cruft with it. And for a reason, too. For the thousands upon thousands of companies running Windows, they are enslaved to a legacy of thousands of crappy applications. To break away from our desks, we need to radically re-imagine how we work, how we interact with technology, what tasks we perform and where we'll be when we're doing them. This is beyond most people. It's beyond most CIOs and most programmers and IT staff. The majority of people can't imagine a room in a house they're buying in a different colour, let alone how they're going to build the apps of the deskless future. And I'm not just talking about corporate, in-house software. The ISVs themselves usually churn out garbage - the pricier or more niche it is, the worse the software. Even massive, rich technology companies produce crap - you mentioned IBM, but Oracle, too is like a company stuck in 1997. I'd love to see Microsoft completely reinvent Windows, to a point where the PC architecture could change beneath it. That'd be amazing. But if a company is faced with having to rebuild or repurchase all their apps again, then they'll have the opportunity to move away from Windows. Microsoft are playing a canny game with Windows 8. They need to be revolutionary and conservative. They need to be Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and that's exactly what you see. Its also why Visual Studio 2012 Express is WinRT only. They know they need to push people forward, push ISVs forward, push corporations, and I think you'll see more of this. Corporate IT needs to be coerced into the future. The decision-makers in these companies are usually the dimmest bulbs, detached from reality by their endless meetings, droll budget presentations and empire-building, while their own internet content filter prevents them being part of the conversation - these people are still rolling out VMWare while the kids on the street are trailblazing with HTML5 and 4G. This is one of the most interesting times to live through since the emergence of the internet. The divergence of tablet and online with cruft and offline, and Windows 8 has a leg on each side of the rift. Hopefully they won't fall down the hole. Luke
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2012 on Betting the Company on Windows 8 at Coding Horror
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Jul 10, 2012