|By Yakov Fain||
|February 6, 2010 01:00 PM EST||
Yesterday, I finished my dinner in a French restaurant with traditional crème brulee. This time I've also ordered a small glass of Sauternes wine. Then we went to our friend's house to follow it with some good old port.
But no matter what software developers drink or eat in February 2010, one way or the other the conversation will slide into a No-Flash-Player-on-iPad discussion. Apple pretends that they will never allow Flash Player on Steve's OS (SOS), because it's buggy. Adobe's CTO, Kevin Lynch, states that Apple doesn't cooperate.
After the third round, I made a statement that when the dust settles, everyone will thank Steve Jobs for forcing Adobe to make Flash Player better and faster, which is a win-win situation for all application developers.
My drinking buddy responded that Adobe has a tiny group of hard core developers who work on Flash Player, have deep understanding of its internals, have the status of sacred cows, and Kevin Lynch can't put pressure on them regardless of what Steve says or wants.
When I hear about any prima donnas in IT, I'm getting easily excited. I believe that if any developer in any IT team starts exhibiting the prima donna symptoms, there's only one solution to this disease: s/he has to be fired.
My opponent was not so sure and replied, "You can't fire the entire team".
Don’t get me wrong, I not saying that the Flash Player team has prima donnas nor that Adobe’s management can’t control them... Actually, can you give a better than this explanation why the bug fix that caused Flash Player crashes was not deployed in production for more than a year? Does it take Steve Job to have a product manager openly admin that they didn't pay enough attention to Flash Player bugs? Will it be different from now on? Anyway, after a couple of old ports it was interesting to dig into this direction a bit deeper.
I told my friends a story that happened with my friend Gregory ten years ago. Back than he had several gas stations in our state of New Jersey. You may not know, but NJ drivers are not allowed to pump gas themselves. You just pull up to a pump, the gas attendant stops by, and you say, "Fill up, Regular please". At least I say the same phrase during the last fifteen years - I lease cars and don't buy premium gasoline.
Gregory had about 20 attendants working for him. All of them were relatives from some Asian country. They were self-managed, low maintenance, and hard working people. One day, the leader of the clan came to Greg and demanded raising salaries to all of them. Greg refused. Then the envoy said, "If you won't raise our pay, we'll all quit"
Greg quietly responded, "Go back and tell everyone that all of you are fired as of this very moment." Greg had to temporarily lock his gas stations - he went to South Jersey, where the pay was lower, hired and relocated 20 new gas attendants. Greg has balls. Yes, he lost money, but didn't bend to blackmailers who believed that they were irreplaceable.
You'll be surprised, but situation in the job market of gas attendants is very similar to what I see in IT. It's a pretty small world, all local recruiters know you, and employers require references from the previous place of work.
Two weeks later, the blackmailer came back to Greg begging to hire them back, but it was a little to late.
No, I don't think that developing Flash Player is as easy as pumping gas. But the source code of the latest build Flash Player is safely stored in a central repository, and if, for any hypothetical reason, Adobe executives will need to replace the entire team, they can do it within a month or so. There are so many brilliant programmers in this country, you wouldn't believe it.
Sorry Flash Player folks, for using your team for illustrating my attitude to prima donnas in IT. I believe that you did a great job with this VM (trust me, I have something to compare with). But our conversation about your team did take place yesterday, and I've openly shared it with my readers. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but I'm sure there are plenty of non-technical reasons for the current situation in Mac OS and SOS.
I simply don't like prima donnas. Plus Sauternes. Plus the old port...
|Yakov Fain 03/21/10 04:53:00 PM EDT|
@roche It looks like you didn't get my message and analogies. I know that Apple simply doesn't want Flash Player on iPhone regardless of how good/bad the product is.
I also know that Adobe has good engineers, but I don't see that they have much support from the management. By support I mean providing enough resources for delivering software of superb quality.
Your statement about "internal assessments of Adobe's management by its own engineers" is great, but show me the money. Why in the world does it take two years to release the next version of Flex?
Why Adobe substantially raised the licensing cost of LCDS leaving in the dust those IT shop who started using it?
Being a democratic and cool executive is nice but not good enough. They need to make the right decisions to get better external assessment too.
|roche 02/10/10 05:24:00 AM EST|
Perhaps the greatest problem with the Apple/Adobe conflict is how many people grant Apple the high ground in the discussion. Adobe isn't being deprived access to Apple products because of quality. It's being deprived access to Apple products because that's what Apple does.
First of all, consider the business diplomacy issues. Adobe wants access to Apple's platform, so it cannot be forthcoming with its retorts. If you read between the lines, Adobe's response is always "our quality isn't an issue, and our customers are asking for access". This is very much a guarded statement, staying polite and ambivalently taking the higher ground.
Now, consider Apple's track record. Apple isn't a software company, it's a hardware company that runs proprietary software. To save some reading, suffice it to say that Apple has never enabled an OEM to install its OS or products (save ITunes & Safari), reaping the benefit of a constrained support base. Compare that to Microsoft. As maligned as their products are, you can install Windows XP on any machine from a multi-processor server down to a netbook. It supports everything. Apple's game is to keep the hw/sw relationship very safe.
Taking that knowledge to their iPod/iPhone/iPad family of products, consider what else they fail to support. Anything available on PC/Mac via browser plug-ins is not supported in iP*'s Safari. Java, Flash, etc... None of it is supported.
Now consider the balance of Apple's business. There was a time where Quicktime took the bulk of online video market share away from Real and MS. Then came Flash. Now, Quicktime is a piece of history rather than the authoritative online video platform, and Apple hates that. iP's video is all QT, they've even painstakingly ported it for YouTube streaming consumption. Those scars are still relatively fresh, and this is the first high ground Apple has had over Adobe since.
So, the bottom line is that Flash isn't supported on Apple's portable products because Apple wants it that way. Because it makes business sense to stay polite, Adobe is just reiterating indisputable facts about customer demand and its own bug stats. Apple is at fault for making this a shooting match.
With due respect, your article documents a phenomenon that might have worked with gas station attendants, but not the architects, implementers, and testers of a hugely popular platform with a fully functional API. I'd question your perspective with regard to management and professionalism, seeing your virtue (or lack thereof) regarding your "burn it down" policy toward what you perceive as prima donna engineering teams. Read glassdoor.com's internal assessments of Adobe's management by its own engineers. People are harping on them for not making Flash a bigger product. It seems no one with first-hand perspective or an empathetic mindset wouldn't feel the need to destroy an engineering organization to prove a point about salaries or process.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 8, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 128
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 572
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 8, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 373
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 355
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 139
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 8, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 382
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 8, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 153
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 352
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 736
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 795
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 2, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 417
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 859
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 950
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
Jan. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 734
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
Jan. 31, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,155
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,229
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 819
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
Jan. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 796
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
Jan. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,279