OK, two thoughts from other blogs about my blog - specifically, my post on Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, visiting us.
One, from Inside Google, makes an important point that I don't want to lose:
The software we build at AOL is for people, in the broadest sense. Its why I'm here and therein lies both opportunity and challenge for us (royal AOL "us").
That theme, of people-centric computing, I believe is the key to recovering our karmic niche in the online world. It feels like we lose our way when our strategies and goals become too inward facing (audience, revenue, OIBIDA, etc.) and abstract; its very easy for that to happen in a big, still hugely profitable company. And we have lost it in the past - I hope to keep it in the past :P - lost it even more maybe, whenever we've imagined those people are other(i.e. lesser), and our software condescends rather than empowers.
(As always, IMHO)
So here's my thought: If we, as developers of that software (and I mean that again in the broadest sense), don't place ourselves in the set of users for whom we're building that software, I don't think it will ever be GREAT. I'm not saying we need to be in the bullseye, but we need to be in a part of the target audience. I think we've made a good start in the last two years in changing that, but its only a start.
And I'm hopeful.
Two, Dossy, who also works at AOL, makes a COMPLETELY fair point about taking quotes out of context. Having been at the event in question, I have to say I didn't realize how it might read until he pointed this out on HIS blog, and certainly I was not intending to imply that Eric was comparing apples to apples (i.e. our coders to his coders). I amended my post to hopefully clarify. Indeed the point was that "Programming" at AOL is about content, whereas "Programming" at Google is about code - language has power, and yes, it implies values.
Speaking of which - daaaaaamn, Dossy - that's a BIG friggin' ad on your blog :P
As Nathan pointed out in his post about my post, that this new post is attempting to clarify - oop - [...stack overflow....]