Values common to software managers across cultures

A good software executive or manager will foster meritocracy, will have a good ability for followup, and will scan the environment for opportunities to innovate, whether it’s looking at new techniques related to the current software project or assist the business stakeholders in finding and prioritizing more processes that can be automated.

The “people” approach can be different, but what they value on the workplace is actually the same, at least in my industry. We foster multi-country teams within the same project whenever possible. It helps you build a company culture that crosses through office locations and helps the traveling folks feel at home in all the offices when travel is needed.

Have you found other characteristics that are important to software managers? Share in the comments section.

Using the Bluetooth keyboard under the iPad

Well, I mentioned I’d attach a bluetooth keyboard to the iPad to try it out and that’s exactly what I did. The results are better than with the regular keyboard but still not ideal.

Of course typing with a real keyboard is going to feel great. The problem is that it’s just field typing. On most of the apps, tabs don’t work to move from field to field, and the PageUp/PageDown keys on the small apple bluetooth keyboard (Fn and Up/Down) are not wired in at all.

All the media function keys, however (from the brightness controls of F1&2 to the media and volume controls on F7 through F12) work fine. Which underscores the idea that this is a media consumption device more than a production device.

Alan Kay, Computer Literacy and Romance

Found this on my “fortune” program today:

“Computer literacy is a contact with the activity of computing deep enough to make the computational equivalent of reading and writing fluent and enjoyable. As in all the arts, a romance with the material must be well under way. If we value the lifelong learning of arts and letters as a springboard for personal and societal growth, should any less effort be spent to make computing a part of our lives?”

— Alan Kay, “Computer Software”, Scientific American, September 1984


Steve Jobs on Success – from D5 conference

Here are some thoughts on success by Steve Jobs, prompted by a question asked at the D5 conference where he had a joint interview with Bill Gates. The whole thing is worth watching, or listening to, or reading the transcripts but this is relevant if you work in this business.

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How I set up a new Customer on a Mac Workstation

I do consulting and sometimes I deal with different clients/projects. This requires a bit of compartmentalized thinking, but I still like to do it fast without having to endlessly tweak my setup. By now I have evolved a way to set up a new customer (when I get a whole new project) on my Mac. This discusses my filters, calendars, and other programs. So this is basically my cheatsheet.

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iPhone: No, we do need a real programming model

I do love my iPhone. But.. I’m writing this while commuting on an underground train, of course without a connection. And of course there’s Airplane mode. Being out of the country. There’s a million reasons to need to use the iPhone disconnected.

You just can’t tell me that, since the programming model is fully on the web, that I cannot use my apps when not connected. People’s brains just don’t work like that. It’s a major cognitive dissonance that of the 12 main menu options on the machine, 5 don’t work unless you are connected at the time.

So a “real” programming model, with a rich language and apps that get downloaded to the machine and store their data locally simply makes sense.

I mean, this machine has 8Gb of storage, for crying out loud.

At least my Blackberry was smart enough to know when it was disconnected and would save the request for when it connected again (so it could show me the pages on the message viewer). I missed that today.