(via @spolsky) - The Duct Tape Programmer - Joel on Software

Jamie Zawinski is what I would call a duct-tape programmer. And I say that with a great deal of respect.
...
At the end of the day, ship the fucking thing! It’s great to rewrite your code and make it cleaner and by the third time it’ll actually be pretty. But that’s not the point—you’re not here to write code; you’re here to ship products.”

Although I don't always agree with Joel, this column is spot on...

The Unnecessary Meltdown - The Daily Beast

Goldman reduced its exposure to mortgages “early,” Viniar said, “before most people had a view that the world was getting worse.” At one point before the magnitude of the problem became crystalline, Viniar thought that Goldman had become too bearish, and insisted that the firm’s traders reverse course somewhat. That decision later cost the firm around $200 million. “They were 100 percent right,” he said. “I was 100 percent wrong.”

Curiously, other firms did not follow Goldman’s lead and, in fact, during the first quarter of 2007 used the perceived weakness in the market for mortgage securities as an opportunity to double-down on their already huge long bets. This was the turning point. If Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and AIG had the same perception of risk as did Viniar and his colleagues at Goldman Sachs, there might have been a downturn, but there wouldn’t have been a meltdown.

I never get tired of reading this stuff.... Also, check out Liars Poker . I read the book back before I joined Salomon Brothers' Technology arm to help set up the 7 WTC trading environment. Good read.

“A geek who writes code — those guys are now the valuable guys,” Mr. Donefer said...

In 2007, Goldman hired him as a vice president, paying him $400,000 a year, according to the federal complaint against him.

He lived in the central New Jersey suburbs with his wife and three young daughters. This year, the family moved to a $1.14 million mansion in North Caldwell, best known as Tony Soprano’s hometown.

...This spring, Mr. Aleynikov quit Goldman to join Teza Technologies, a new trading firm, tripling his salary to about $1.2 million...

Yes, I am in the wrong area of the Financial Services (Insurance) and Yes, you should read this article. "Stepping in front of another buyer" seems to be as profitable as ever and never gets old in this business. For you non-financial services types, think of EBay Snipers...

Specs Without Tests Are Meaningless

Gerald Weinberg says "Things are the way they are because they got that way ... one logical step at a time." I personally think that the word "logical" is a bit tongue-in-cheek; what I think he means is "logical based on the pressures at the moment," because this maxim is his way of explaining how companies and teams get themselves into completely contorted positions: one "logical" step at a time. If you look at each step, given the conditions and pressures at the moment that decision was made, the individual decision is "logical," even though the sum total of all the decisions may put the team or company into a completely crazy place.

This article started off great and I particularly liked the Weinberg quote above but began to ramble off to a discussion of hiring and netflix culture. Worth a read though...