Software Designers~The People Behind the Code~(英語)

#Last time Looking Back―By Bart Eisenberg

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The Ruby movement has two sides. One is about the language syntax and functionality. The other is about the relationship between people. I do think the community is helped when people are nice to each other. Niceness promotes the whole ecosystem, the contributed libraries, Ruby on Rails, the RubyGems package system. I think all of these develop from a certain kind of relationship between human beings. So we have a well-developed technical side and a social side. One of the attractions of the Ruby language is that we have both.

Yukihiro ⁠Matz⁠⁠ Matsumoto: Ruby Inventor

Matz is always talking about having fun, but I think it goes beyond that. He has built a community and a philosophy about living with kindness and excellence. Great programmers and great people of all kinds can appreciate that.

Bruce Tate, author and independent consultant

[Researcher Hirokazu Kato and I] had complementary skills. He has fantastic skills in computer vision research and software development, and I was strong in interface design. We were both hard workers, willing to put in the hours needed to get everything done. The cultural differences were not as great as you might think. New Zealand has some strong connections with Japan, and since that time, he and his family have come to visit a couple of times, which I've enjoyed very much. I think Japanese people like visiting New Zealand because our country is somewhat like Japan. We too are a country of long islands with mountains and a strong connection to the sea―but without so many people.

Mark Billinghurst, Director, The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand

I think [Hacker Dojo] is best described as the answer to the quest for a third place, which is neither home nor work, where you can socialize both casually and professionally, where you can get things done and bounce ideas off of other people. Traditionally, cafes and salons have provided that third place, and today, Starbuck's provides a nice place to work, but there's not much of a community there. If you went up to somebody with a laptop and asked what they are working on, you'd get: ⁠Dude, I'm drinking coffee; leave me alone.”

David Weekly: Founding director, Hacker Dojo

One thing that's interesting about wikis is that they reverse the usual collaborative process. Usually, collaborators review and review and review--then publish. On a wiki, you first publish, then review, review, review. And that has a big impact on a system of collaboration in that it keeps the cycle time up. Things happen fast if you publish first, then review.

I know a computer scientist who plays music in a group. He says that when they hit the first chord, they already know how everybody is feeling. The sense of how they're doing is immediate and that immediacy is a natural thing--humans are set up to do that in fractions of a second. We stretch it out because we sometimes don't know how to communicate on shorter time scales when we're doing traditional work. Traditional work was driven by inter-office memos typed up on carbon paper. Now we have computer networks to speed things up. Networks aren't quite as fast as a jazz band on the first note, but they're getting close.

Ward Cunningham: wiki inventor; agile programming pioneer; CTO, CitizenGlobal

Consensus is in our DNA. That, in turn, has attracted a certain kind of developer: someone who can listen to the opposing view and, at times, give way without holding a grudge. If you are not that kind of person, then you'll probably get weeded out of the ASF development process. ASF has given presentations about the ⁠poisonous person syndrome⁠―referring to how just one inflexible person can poison a software project. It's important to know how to encourage those people to rethink that mindset. And it's important to realize that even the best developer in the world is not worth that kind of damage to the community and the project.

Jim Jagielski, chairman, The Apache Software Foundation

Sometimes you don't need consensus. Sometimes dictators are a good thing. Sometimes you need somebody to say ⁠this is how it's going to be―let's go do it.⁠⁠ It's so easy to get into the mode of wanting to please everybody, and the more people you have in a meeting, the more people you need to please―and the longer it takes.

David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails

Data security

God loves Wikimedia: we know that because a hurricane hasn't yet hit Tampa. Everything we care about lives on a single floor in Tampa. It's secure in the sense that random ninjas couldn't go in there and slash our servers. But this is an office building in a city where there is lots of hurricane activity, which means it doesn't have super good peering opportunities. There aren't a lot of other clients of this little company where we are hosted that have good connections to the international telco network. In other words, given that we are one of the top websites in the world, we are hosted in the wrong place.

Danese Cooper, CTO, Wikimedia Foundation

In Yakushima, along with his wife Susan (2012)

In Yakushima, along with his wife Susan (2012)


One of the things I love about startups is that the team you have is pretty much the team you'll continue to have. You can hire and fire individuals, but if the startup company decides to do something different, they do it with the same in-house team. Whereas when a big company invests in a new product and cancels an old one, they are more likely to pull together a new team with the appropriate skills for that new product. If you are were on the old product, you may get laid off. I thrive in an environment where if we decide to do something different, we are still committed to the people we've got.

Sarah Allen, Chief Geek, Mightyverse

Way, way too many people have this notion that they'll do whatever it takes right now―and then something magical will happen: ⁠I'll get bought out, I'll be a huge success and then my life will be great.⁠⁠ It just doesn't work like that. I've talked to a good number of entrepreneurs who have built a successful business, sold it for a lot of money―enough to retire to the mythical beach and sip margaritas all day. And what happened? Six months later they are back in the game because humans are not meant to be beach potatoes. We don't get any intellectual joy from it. So they come back after six months, perhaps with another idea. And chances are this new idea is not as good as their first.

David Heinemeier Hansson

The hardest decision an entrepreneur can make is: should I pivot, or should I persevere? It's not a formula: everyone has heard those stories of entrepreneurs who just stuck it out through one more iteration and made the concept work. And there are others who just pivot around in a circle, going nowhere.

Eric Ries, creator of the Lean Startup methodology

The reality is that most things you launch are going to fail, or are not going to be the hits that they could be. But without launching them, it's impossible to get the feedback you need to make them into what they will ultimately become. Like the iPhone 4. The earlier iPhones weren't that great. They were relatively slow and clunky. They were beautiful in their own way, but the fourth generation was a turning point: it's incredible what they have done, but it only happened over four iterations.

Matthew Mullenweg, Founding Developer, WordPress; Founder, Automattic


Bart Eisenberg

Bart Eisenberg's articles on the trends and technologies of the American computer industry have appeared in Gijutsu-Hyoron publications since the late 1980s. He has covered and consulted for both startups and the major corporations that make up the Silicon Valley. A native of Los Angeles and a self-confessed gadget freak, he lives with his wife Susan in Marin County, north of San Francisco. When not there, he can sometimes be found hiking with a GPS in the Sierra, traveling in India, driving his Toyota subcompact down the California coast, or on the streets of New York and Tokyo.


1980年代後半より,『Software Design』や『Web Site Expert』などの雑誌に,アメリカのコンピュータ業界のトレンドと技術に関するレポートを執筆しています。シリコンバレーで,スタートアップ企業から大企業まで幅広い分野でコンサルタントを務めました。

ロサンゼルス生まれで,自称ガジェットフリークです.現在,妻のSusanとともに,サンフランシスコ北部のMarin County在住。また,SierraのGPSを携えてハイキングしたり,インドを旅したり,カリフォルニア海岸をドライブしたり,NYや東京の街中を歩いたりしています。