Friday, May 30, 2008


Thanks to Mathoov for the photo.

I've been of two minds about what to blog about. On one hand, I want to avoid talking about the mundanities of life. I don't want this to be another blog about the latest ham and rye sandwich or why cats are the best thing ever. On the other hand, life is a really easy way to get material, if you happen to have one that isn't heart crushingly boring. That's not to say we all live boring lives. No, it's just that from the Reader's perspective, it's nothing particularly interesting.

However, something happened this week that was slightly out of the ordinary. I was sent to a Google Tech Conference. Google I/O, is what it's called. If I start getting into details, the non-technical among you will likely be more bored from this blog than usual, so I'll venture into the rosy tinted world of analogy.

Programmers/Software Developers/Software Engineers/whatever the hell you want to call us, are really just builders. Think of us like construction workers; without the animal attraction and manly musk. We build Stuff. Google has made a bunch of interesting pieces to build stuff with. In the tech world, they are called components. By analogy, you can think of them as bricks. Some people try and offer bricks because they want to SELL them. Google just wants to GIVE bricks away.

Following this tortured analogy, the idea is that builders will make more interesting things, that'll get more people on the web, which is how Google make money. It's a very quixotic idea, and not one to make sense to the average person. But at the heart of the tech world is a spirit of sharing and caring and all that good stuff that you associate with the 60's. Except no one would ever want to give us free love, and our drug of choice is Starbucks.

So anyone who follows this Free Love kinda ideal that lies at the heart of software development, gets free geek Cred points. Techies think better of you, your company is 'cooler'. I'm sure there is a convoluted process by which this translates into the bottom line, but darned if I can find it.

So that's what I did for two days. Attend sessions about bricks. And ways to make cooler buildings.


The Nighthawk said...

That sounds like an awesome way to earn a paycheque for two days. :)

Monkfish said...

I'm sure you learned some interesting stuff, got some cool t-shirts, will now be able to use those bricks to build some amazing things and had a wild time at the after hours parties. But, most importantly, did you find us new jobs?

If not, this conference goes down as a failure in my book. And yes, I am writing a book.

Niteowl said...

NH : that's super duper positive way to look at being surrounded by alpha geeks, definitely.

monky : I tried to get us hired on many, many startups. None of them offered full dental, medical, and five weeks vacation though. They did have bean bags, which almost sealed the deal.