Tag Archives: Microsoft

Aging

Hello, Dr. Jones.Garret P. Vreeland: “Ageism is starting to raise its ugly head – people are judging based on wrinkles and hair color (none) now. That totally sucks. Yet my photography skills are burgeoning, and I’m up to my eyeballs in video and video editing again (yay, FCPX!). Got some good web contracts in as well. Yet I’m not comfortable yet. Goal one for my 57th year – achieve satisfaction.”

Then there’s this from a developer I have a lot of respect for.

A couple years back I went through an interview with a company I’d still love to work for. I didn’t get the gig and to this day I still don’t know why. It’s totally possible I did something completely wrong during my interviews but in the end I was told “You’re a good developer and a great communicator, but you’re not a good fit.” I was crushed. At the time I was in a bad place mentally and physically. A lot going on in life at that point in time. I didn’t handle the rejection well. That is my fault of course, but the only reason I could find that fit was I was too old for their group. Sour grapes I suppose.

I have a feeling getting a gig with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple will come down to your ability to do the work. I’ve interviewed with Microsoft and worked for them. I’ve interviewed with Apple and didn’t get through the interview. I know for a fact that Google interviews are notoriously difficult to get through.

The best companies hire the best people. I have no doubt James Thomson could work for any of these companies. He’d probably have to prepare for the interview process, but he could do it.

Apple’s Cloud Infrastructure

Mac360: “In recent years Apple has used Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and Amazons’s Web Services, as well as it’s own data centers, as a mashup melange which together makes up iCloud and other cloud services. That’s right. Apple’s iCloud and cloud services come from Microsoft and Amazon. And soon Google’s Cloud.”

I find this fascinating. You’d think Apple would have their own services, hosted on their own hardware, in their own facilities. Read the article and, like me, you’ll discover they just didn’t have the bandwidth to standup a facility the size of Azure or AWS or Google just to serve their customers. Wow, that is amazing growth.

I would really love to see a report outlining all the technologies Apple uses to serve iCloud customers. Everything from service providers to hardware to software stacks and how massive each of those really is. It has to be mind boggling. Makes me wonder if any one person at Apple knows the answer for all the services, top to bottom?

Nokia Has A Hit

Co.DESIGN: “After attending CES earlier in the month, I felt something major had happened: The iPhone had finally met its rivals in the form of Nokia’s Lumia 800 and 900, equipped with Windows 7’s Metro UI.”

Nokia could be the kick Windows Phone(I hate that name, they should’ve called it Metro) has been looking for. Only time will tell, but I think they’re great looking devices. Maybe I’ll be able to put my hands on one soon?

It’s not the Technology

Robert Scoble: “Microsoft’s technology just isn’t used by many serious web companies that I know. Stack Exchange and PlentyOfFish are two notable exceptions and neither is located in Silicon Valley and they hardly are companies with the scale of MySpace used to have (more than 50 million users).”

Stop right there. There may be a lot of problems inside MySpace, but pointing the finger at a technology stack just isn’t logical. People blamed Twitter’s problems on Ruby, I seriously doubt it had anything to do with the language. Microsoft creates serious, large scale, server software. As a platform .NET is just as good as any LAMP setup you could point a finger at. So don’t point a finger at the technology stack, point it at the team behind the code, and the management.

Watch out! It's a blog fly!If the team is not able to design a complete system that can scale you’re eventually going to run into a brick wall. I’m not sure why MySpace can’t convince quality Software Engineers and Infrastructure Engineers to come to work for them, but that will kill a large scale system faster than anything. Couple that with a large amount of turnover and you’re in for a catastrophe. Scaling for a million users is challenging, much less 100 million, and it takes constant care a feeding, just like a child.

I can buy the argument the team wasn’t right. I can buy the argument the team didn’t understand the technology. I can buy the argument the system was poorly designed. I just can’t buy the argument it had anything to do with the technology stack.

Update: From Jeff Atwood on Twitter.

“look, if Facebook and Wikipedia can build generational empires on PHP, quality of tooling is *utterly irrelevant*. It just is.”

Being first isn’t always good

Green Apple LogoScobleizer: “It’s sad that Bill Gates tried to get Microsoft to deliver the Tablet PC vision but Microsoft mostly failed where Apple has largely succeeded. Some because the market is more ready for a Tablet PC today (we have wifi in a lot of places now, and 3G coverage is getting there). Some because technology has evolved (battery life is dramatically better than back then and lighter too). Some because prices have come down.” – Think about Apple for a minute, their successes, their failures. The iPod, Sony was in this space long before Apple. Apple perfected it, brought us integration with the desktop, and great online store integration. The iPhone, there were many, many, other cell phone companies. Apple perfected the smart phone, brought us integration with the desktop, a great online store, and the web anywhere, at any time, the way we wanted it, and gave developers a way to make money and not have to worry about distribution. Now, we have the iPad, Apple has once again perfected, or at least have a great start to perfecting it. Apple brought us great integration with the desktop, a great online store, web anywhere, books anywhere, movies anywhere, and gave developers a great way to make money and not have to worry about application distribution.

See a pattern here? Apple may not be first, but they definitely know how to perfect the user experience.