TITLE: You May Be in the Software Business AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 18, 2010 5:04 PM DESC: ----- BODY: In the category programming for all, Paul Graham's latest essay explains his ideas about What Happened to Yahoo. (Like the classic Marvin Gaye album and song, there is no question mark.) Most people may not care about programming, but they ought to care about programs. More and more, the success of an organization depends on software.
Which companies are "in the software business" in this respect? ... The answer is: any company that needs to have good software.If this was such a blind spot for an Internet juggernaut like Yahoo, imagine how big a surprise it must be for everyone else. If you employ programmers, you may be tempted to stay within your comfort zone and treat your tech group just like the rest of the organization. That may not work very well. Programmers are a different breed, especially great programmers. And if you are in the software business, you want good programmers.
Hacker culture often seems kind of irresponsible. ... But there are worse things than seeming irresponsible. Losing, for example.Again: If this was such a blind spot for an Internet juggernaut like Yahoo, imagine how big an adjustment it would be for everyone else. I'm in a day-long retreat with my fellow department heads in the arts and sciences, and it's surprising how often software has come up in our discussions. This is especially true in recruitment and external engagement, where consistent communication is so important. It turns out the university is in the software business. Unfortunately, the university doesn't quite get that. -----