Saturday, May 07, 2005

Some thoughts on how to succeed... or not.

I've been thinking, and admittedly, that's always a dangerous endeavor.

And anyone who knows me would probably agree.

However, here lately, I've been feeling vindicated in the fact that my beliefs, and sticking to my proverbial guns, my closely-held engineering principles, will eventually prove themselves in their truths.

I've been thinking about this: Why is it that, when someone has a technical problem or crisis in the Internet community, they want to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened?

This really pisses me off, and if nothing else, violates the Tao of the Internet community-at-large... if you're not part of the solution, you are certainly part of the problem.

Well, I know why, or at least I think I know why. I've seen it first-hand working amongst the movers-and-shakers in the heady days of the high-tech, VC-money-for-virtually-every-start-up-over-the top, heady days of the mid- to late-1990's when this business was a tad more raw, over-inflated, and experimental in the business sense, than it ever was, or has been to to this day. However, some events of the past few weeks have left me feeling a few tinges of Déjà vu.

I left Cisco Systems, Inc. in 2001, after taking a leave-of-absence -- probably the best move for both me, and Cisco. But believe me, I've been doing this for a long time. And all I've ever wanted to do was engineer -- not manage. not direct -- just be an engineer. Keep my hands dirty, so to speak. That's what I still do -- engineer -- and that's what I hope I can always do. However, I reached a point (back before the bubble bust) where the enjoyment factor had been sucked out of the job -- everyone was more worried about appearances than real tech. You know, no "rough censuses or running code," just appearances.

When will tech companies make decisions based on doing The Right Thing? It was all about appearances -- how will we be perceived? Will our stock price go up? You get the spiel.

Well, probably never. It's all about margins and profits these days, and it would appear that any acknowledgement of fault is tightly integrated with marketing. What a shame for us engineers, huh?

Well, I just had a nasty flashback the past few days.

And it really leaves a bad taste on my technical palette.

Selfishness is the problem these days, it would appear. We have companies who are more concerned about their image than they are about admitting any technical problems, or helping the Internet community at-large. That's the state of business, huh? We haven't really moved ahead very much as a community, have we?

I've got news for you: Openess is supposed to be a bonus, not a liability. When is everyone going to figure that out? It only goes to show you -- the ones who never talk about their technical issues are the ones which ultimately fail in their own protective, retarded walled garden.

Tragedy of the commons.

End tirade.

Good night, Gracie, wherever you are.


At Sat May 07, 09:48:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure think full disclosure is nice, but I'm also aware that there may be other factors at play.

"Fat-fingered admin" doesn't make for a good press release. Neither does "botched software upgrade".

It's not the engineer that gets to decide, as those other factors are handled the legal / marketing / business folks the engineer with dirty hands does not get involved with.

At Sat May 07, 09:54:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have a tendency to agree, but when nothing is said at all, and leaves people rambling around with all sorts of nutball conspiracy theories, it doesn't really help anyone.


At Thu Aug 04, 11:43:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's the corporate mindset, Fergie. Corporations do this. They lie, they distort the truth, they cover their own ass as much as possible. I am not really surprised that a corporation would hide its mistakes. In fact, i would almost expect it to.

And i agree with you about the sadness and tradgedy this is. But what can stop it? I do not have an answer for this.

At Thu Jan 26, 12:31:00 PM PST, Blogger Fergie said...

I think I agree a little with each comment. A little. :-)

Thanks for the comments.

- ferg

At Fri Jan 27, 06:29:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interior design firms seems to have a pretty thourough directory on this topic.


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