Kathy Sierra links to an interview with David Heinemeier Hansson, of 37 Signals, which talks about making programmers happy.
I’ve been studying that for quite a while. I remember back in the 1980s a programmer came into the camera store and was talking to me. He was down on his company (which won’t go named here but it wasn’t GYM). I asked him why he was bummed. He said his company had killed his last few projects. I still remember what he said to me “I am an engineer and I want to work somewhere that puts my work into the hands of customers.”
The guys who stare at a blank black or white screen and start typing and start creating the things we all find magical just want us to see their work in our hands. Is it more complicated than that?
Yeah, it is.
They also want a workplace where merit rules the day and discrimination is not a word that’s heard. They want good tools (you watch a developer’s eyes light up when you setup a high-end computer with dual-screen high res monitors).
Since there’s a lot of developers and their managers who read here, what else do you find makes for happy programmers?
Now why didn’t I think of this? Interactive novel writing. I have no idea if Glypho will take off or not, but this is something that would have been very hard to do before the Internet.
And while we’re on writing, Christopher Coulter sent me this fun site which he described this way: what would happen if surrealists wrote EULAs.
Paul Short just opened up a new section of Gadgetizer.com devoted exclusively to kids gadgets and Toys. It’s a new weblog for the purpose of informing parents of kids from infants to 12 year olds (tweens) about toys for that age group.
Do you have one of those new video iPods or one of the new Sony Portable PlayStations? Well, you’ll need to convert videos to run on them. I asked Ken Levy how he did it and here’s his answer:
I use a free program called PSP Video 9 at http://www.pspvideo9.com/ to convert various video file formats like WMV to the MPEG4 format for use on my Sony PSP. I did not get an iPod Video, I mainly travel with my 4GB iPod Nano and my Sony PSP.
The team that created PSP Video 9 created http://www.videora.com/en-us/Converter/iPod/
Here are some related links:
Another in the pile of “be careful if you’re blogging while identified with a company.” Here ZDNet in India reports that Gaurav Sabnis quit his IBM job after a blog dispute.
Hey, Gary Price, can you slow down and let the rest of us catch up? You keep coming up with the coolest stuff. What’s he up to now? He has a great review of real-time flight trackers. You know, if you wanna know whether aunt Mary’s plane is on time, you just enter her flight number and these things will show you where her plane is in the sky, among other things.