Monday, August 1

Creating an environment where the best of the best builders thrive

I have often sung the praise of IT Conversations, which has so many great presentations, and a few duds.

One presentation I both loved and would consider required listening is Paul Graham's presentation on Great Hackers. I had thought, by the title, this would be a piece profiling evil programmers. Instead, it talks about why and how companies attract and keep the best of the best.

One of the key points for me was the need and ability to focus for extended periods of time without being interupted. This speaks against cubicles specifically. But also, it gets to the issues that great producers of IP have to put themselves in the right mood, and that the threat of constant interuption can prevent one from putting oneself in that state of productivity, as well as the reality.

I would greatly value other people's reactions to the presentation.


Clark Aldrich said...

The only caveat I would say is that "artist" is a loaded word within the corporate world with negative overtures. If I had a great programmer I was advocating within a corporate culture, I would never call her an artist.

It reminds me a corporate executive who described "strategic" as meaning "lots of money and no return."

Clark Aldrich said...

Don't get me wrong. Most organizations need more artists. All organizations should learn from how artists work.

Of course, while many thrust sweeping praise on artists and their profession, I don't especially!

My favorite middle ground is the artist with accountabilty, often graphic artists.

Clark Aldrich said...

But we are getting off track. Stop reading this. Listen to the presentation!

Stuart Kruse said...

For me, the classic software manual PeopleWare is the key source for how to design work environments that allow knowledge workers to be productive. That said, Paul Graham is a very entertaining speaker.