Archive for November, 2006

Vive la France - Day 2

Posted in Daily Entries on November 28th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 7 Comments

I’m waiting for someone who actually speaks French to tell me if it’s ‘Viva le France’, or ‘Vive le France’, or something else. I don’t speak French at all, so you’ll have to forgive me.

Today, on the way home, I braved the Arc de Triomphe as two others suggested. Not intentionally mind you, the cabbie’s GPS said it was the quickest way. It wasn’t nearly as bad as in some other parts of the city, and I did get some relatively nice photos considering the cobblestone street. It’s a pretty big roundabout, but it was only 5pm, and I’m told the traffic doesn’t get nasty until after 5:30pm. Honestly, I’d hate to be there after 5:30pm, even with my increasing tolerance for the traffic.

Sickeningly enough, on the way to the office this morning, I was actually somewhat comfortable with the way people were driving. It almost seemed normal. Sitting still while motorcycles whip by at 60kmph between you and the car next to you can be a bit disconcerting sometimes, but I started getting used to it.

My GPS device started working today as well. I went out into a relatively open area and it was able to sync up with four satellites and switched my maps over to Paris. It doesn’t work in the car because of the glass, but it’s nice to see where I am in relation to the loop around Paris, and in relation to my hotel room.

I went to dinner on my own after work, and thankfully the menu was in both French and English. But their rib eye steak was more like a tv dinner sirloin than anything else and was more expensive than a much better cut I would have gotten back in the ’states. I had some sort of creampuff stuffed with ice cream for desert that was pretty good. I was sorely tempted to see if banana splits here are the same as they are in the US, but I decided to try something new.

Oh, and I was shown the “French Finger” today.

Isn’t that nice? I bet the artist who made this will tell his buddies for decades to come how he gave Paris ‘the finger’. It might be a thumb, but how can you be completely sure?

I’ve been trying to keep up on my email, but it’s been hard. I’ve been getting a lot more resumes for the open position at Moon River Software, and I’m the benchmark editor for the Center for Internet Security’s SQL Server 2005 guideline. There’s a lot of activity on that email list right now and I’m hoping to publish it before the end of December, although I think that’s probably a bit optimistic.

Since I’m not around this week or next week, that makes interviewing somewhat difficult, but I can at least do phone screens on the weekends until I get back in my office during the week. The benchmark emails are hard to keep up with just because there are so many of them. I could set it to digest mode, but I’ve never much cared for that.

I’ll try and get some decent photos tomorrow. Maybe I’ll try to brave the Metro.

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Vive la France - Day 1

Posted in Daily Entries on November 27th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 4 Comments

I hope this post makes sense to someone, but if not, you’re going to have to forgive me. I woke up at 7am Sunday EST, hopped on a plane around 5:40pm EST, arrived in Paris at 6:00am (their time) and then went to work. I’m exhausted. I haven’t gone this many hours without sleep in a very long time. Makes me wish I were a bit younger.

Juicy fact of the day. If you’re ever in Paris, take a taxi unless you have a deathwish. During the course of driving from the airport to my hotel, and then my hotel to my client, I nearly died numerous times. If you’ve been to Boston and thought the drivers there were crazy, then been to New Jersey and thought they were worse, let me tell you something. You haven’t seen anything till you’ve been to Paris. Riding with a cabbie is almost enough to make an atheist start to pray. Scary doesn’t begin to describe it.

So, my spiffy new Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS device hasn’t worked yet. Granted, I really haven’t had it in a location where I would expect it to get some decent satellite readings, but being in a car should be good enough. Makes me even happier that I didn’t rent a car. Did I mention the drivers here are nuts? I’ll try and take photos. It really can’t be described.

I made a few last minute phone calls to try and get in touch with some interview candidates before I left for Paris, apologizing profusely to all of them for being forced to call on a Sunday. One phone screen didn’t pan out, as the person on the other end said he didn’t think he had enough experience. I can’t say how much I valued his honesty. I can’t afford to make a mistake with my first hire.

Oh. And my cell phone doesn’t work here either. I’m supposed to be meeting a friend who is working in London for the next couple years, and my phone doesn’t work. Go figure.

Juicy tidbit of the day. In Paris, they drive on the right hand side of the road. I always thought they drove on the left for some reason. Maybe that’s just England.

Well, I’ve had enough for one day. I’ve gone more than 36 hours now without sleep and I think I’m starting to hallucinate. Welcome to France.

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Next week

Posted in Daily Entries on November 21st, 2006 by Mike Taber – 1 Comment

Well, it looks like I’m going to be in Paris, France for business next week. On the off chance that any of my readers are in the area, and want to get together for a drink or something, let me know.

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Job Listing

Posted in Daily Entries on November 17th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 2 Comments

Chris Vance asks: “Can you remind viewers what technologies you’re looking to hire for? While I’m happily employed, I live in the area and know lots of software engineers (all employed, though, to my knowledge).”

Certainly, although that’s probably not quite the question you should be asking. In the broader sense, I’m not looking for any specific technologies. I’m looking for someone who is very technical, can handle him/herself in front of a customer, learns quickly, and is outstanding at what they do. That really sums it up.

When I’m looking through resumes, I look at a lot of different things, including the number of languages a candidate knows and which ones they are. I would give more credibility to the technical excellence of someone who had C, F#, JADE, and KRYPTON than I would to someone who had a lot of Java and C#. Why?

Well, the former candidate’s knowledge consists of some fairly obscure programming languages with the exception of C. It shows that the candidate has seen multiple languages, has probably learned at least a few of them on their own, and can readily learn new ones.

Let’s say the latter candidate has a combined 8-10 years of Java and C#. I have no intentions of knocking either of those languages as being inappropriate for any given use. The problem is that they are so similar in many of their fundamental concepts, that it’s difficult to know whether the candidate can use that knowledge as an effective launch point for learning a lot of other things quickly to the point of being efficient with them.

On my resume, I trimmed the list of languages I’ve used down to about 15 or so. I’ve used or had experience with roughly twice that number. I don’t list all of them for a few reasons. First, I want to show breadth of knowledge on my resume, not depth. I’d prefer to have a job where I use most of my skills a little bit rather than a few of my skills a lot. Second, some of the languages I have no interest in continuing my career with. PL\SQL is a perfect example. Thanks Oracle, but no thanks. It’s not me, it’s you. Third, even though I have worked with more than 30 different languages, many of them I have little more than what I consider to be rudimentary knowledge or experience with.

For example, I don’t have Lisp on my resume. I can do it, and I’ve done it in the past, but I never used it much. I used it for one assignment in college, and came back to it several years later because I was interested in learning more about how it worked. After working with it a bit outside of a classroom environment, I moved on. Could I learn it again? Yep. Could I recognize the concepts? Yep. Do I need it right now? Nope*.

It is orders of magnitude faster to relearn something than to learn it for the first time. That’s why in college, they teach Calculus the first year and don’t really come back to it until you get to your senior year or in grad school where they discuss advanced mathematical theory. What’s more important is that fundamental concepts from one programming language to another translate differently. The ability to recognize those concepts and apply them in other languages is important whenever you’re learning a new language because it speeds the learning process.

One other thing that I really look at is a coverletter. Truly great candidates all submit coverletters, and they usually pretty clearly illustrate the greatness of the candidate. Resume’s are pretty dry reading, but a coverletter lets a reviewer dig a bit deeper. A coverletter allows the candidate to help sell themself to the reviewer and help them land the interview. A coverletter can also help you address shortcomings in your resume. I can’t possibly stress how important it is to have a coverletter to help sell yourself. If I don’t see a coverletter, then it shows that you don’t care enough to put your best foot forward. At that point, why should I bother?

If I list a set of requirements for a job, and you apply but you clearly don’t meet the requirements, how is submitting your resume going to get you an interview unless they’re truly desperate? And if they’re truly desperate and willing to hire anybody, do you really want to work there?

I hope that all of that illustrates a bit better what I’m looking for. It is probably of interest to people to understand what they will be doing working for Moon River Software since I’m not looking for any specific technologies. Here’s a bullet list that recruiters seem to so desperately love:

  • Participate in the design and implementation of future versions of new and existing products. This includes UI design, database design, front end, back end, middle end, hampster wheel, llama design patterns, wait… are you really still reading this? Basically all aspects of the design and development of products from the initial idea to the final implementation and rollout. Chances are you’ll be using .NET and SQL Server, but if you have experience with other languages and databases or the desire and interest in them, anything is possible.
  • Develop security policies for SecurityExpressions using any means necessary ( SE Script, VBScript, sed, awk, Unix shells, Windows shells, SQL, etc). Training for SecurityExpressions will be provided. I do not expect that anyone will know this product before starting at MRS.
  • Provide consulting services to Moon River Software clients as needed.
  • Occasional travel to clients, mainly throughout the Northeast and DC area.
  • Do whatever is needed to help build the business and make it a great place to work.

In return, I’m more than happy to provide the following to the right candidate:

  • Your own private office.
  • An Aeron desk chair for you and an Aeron side chair for visitors/meetings in your office.
  • A pair of 20″ Dell 2007FP LCD monitors.
  • A dual core Athlon X2 desktop with 4GB RAM and a dual head video card. (custom built to be silent!)
  • Medical, dental, workers comp, etc.
  • 3 weeks paid vacation, plus 10 paid holidays per year
  • An utter lack of bureaucratic red tape
  • The tools you need to do your job
  • Career development and company paid certification tests (Microsoft, Red Hat, Altiris, CISSP, etc)
  • A competitive salary
  • A parking pass for a garage in downtown Worcester
  • Additional benefits to be discussed

As the last bullet indicates, this is not a comprehensive list. For example, if you wanted a technical book from Amazon, you could just order it. If we are developing web applications, you’d probably end up with a Mac Mini on your desk to aid in development. If you travel to a client, you’d be provided with a laptop. These situations will be dealt with on a case by case basis. I want to do everything possible to make Moon River Software a great place to work where we can enjoy our careers, not suffer through them.

It should be fairly obvious that I subscribe to Joel’s idea that you want to hire smart people, not just skillsets. If Fog Creek is the type of environment you want, but New York isn’t the place you want, then I invite you to send me a resume and a coverletter to job02@moonriversoftware.com. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

* This isn’t entirely true. There’s a scripting language in one of the products I work with that seems to be fundamentally based in Lisp. Having learned Lisp on my own gives me a definitive advantage, but it’s not truly Lisp.

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Incredibly ineffective security

Posted in Daily Entries on November 17th, 2006 by Mike Taber – Be the first to comment

I’m often amazed at the lengths that companies will go to in order to ’secure’ their networks and computer systems from tampering. I’m also amazed at how prevalent security holes are in their systems on a regular basis.

I do a fair amount of traveling throughout the Northeast doing security consulting for Fortune 1000 companies. Of the dozen or so clients I’ve had this past year, I can think of only three who even let me plug my laptop into their networks at all. The rest made me use a guest Wifi network.

Today, I’m writing this post from the lounge of a local Honda dealer and using their guest Wifi network. And you know what? My own website is blocked by a program they have running called ‘Websense’. Apparently my blog falls under the category of ‘Games’. Talk about ridiculous.

I decided to do a little investigative work. Although my web browser is blocked from getting to www.miketaber.net, I can ping the IP address, which shows that only web based GET or POST requests are probably being filtered. I can also tunnel into my office VPN, thereby rerouting my traffic, bypassing Websense and doing anything I want anyway. Way to go Websense!

I’m sure that Websense has its uses. The fact is that the reason they probably have it implemented is because they don’t want their employees inadvertently downloading content that is inappropriate for the workplace. One of my previous employers used web based filtering software as well. There were a pair of developers in my group who used to prank each other quite often. One evening, one programmer broke into the other programmers’ computer and set her desktop background image as porn. Very funny, but also a very good way to find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit based on sexual harassment.

I understand that I have not done anything to bypass the filtering that would be considered particularly difficult, but the fact that the Websense filtering was so easy to circumvent illustrates one very important point that I harp on to all of my clients. If there’s a talented malevolent hacker bent on breaking into your network, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop them short of unplugging your computers. It’s just not possible.

Any network of sufficient size and complexity can eventually be broken, either by physical, social, of electronic methods.

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Outstanding Customer Service

Posted in Daily Entries on November 16th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 1 Comment

Several weeks ago, I placed a job listing on jobs.joelonsoftware.com for a developer to add to my company. The website as most of you probably know is a subdomain of the popular Joel On Software website. While I wasn’t too keen on spending $350 for a chance at finding someone, Fog Creek did offer a 90 days, no questions asked money back guarantee and the listing would be posted for a full three weeks.

This week, the three weeks were up and I landed a grand total of 4 resumes. Not exactly the response I had hoped for. I realize that Worcester is probably not the hot spot for JoS readers, but I did expect to get more than 4 resumes, especially given that my listing had so many people viewing it.

But the bottom line was that I spent the money and didn’t get what I was looking for. I emailed Fog Creek support last night around 2am and per their guarantee, requested my money back. By 10am this morning, my money had been refunded. Talk about a great turnaround. That’s first rate customer service.

What’s even more amazing is that this level of customer service is absolutely unheard of. I’ve dealt with a lot of companies during my various business ventures and my personal life. Fog Creek’s absolute, unwavering commitment to their guarantee does nothing but bolster their reputation in my eyes. There was no trying to convince me to give it more time or to try again. It was just a simple here’s your money back, we’re very sorry it didn’t work out and we’re happy you gave it a try.

Why don’t other companies do this?

I’ve often wondered how Fog Creek got to the position they were in. There’s no longer any question in my mind. The way you treat your customers says a lot about the kind of company that you run. Sure, the products you sell are important. But it’s the people behind the products that provide value. If something ever goes wrong and you know you can count on your vendor for support, it makes it that much easier to choose them in the future or recommend them to others.

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VMWare and AMD X2’s

Posted in Daily Entries, Tech Tidbits on November 10th, 2006 by Mike Taber – 22 Comments

I use VMWare… a lot. As I commented to on of my readers, I use a lot of different operating systems in my business, including: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, SUSE Linux, Red Hat Linux, Solaris, HPUX and AIX. This list doesn’t include the various service pack levels, or kernel versions that each of these OS’s might have, nor does it include additional dedicated ‘machines’ that I use for hosting heavy duty applications like Exchange Server, SQL Server 2k and 2k5, Oracle, mySQL, etc.

My work depends on me testing the code I write against different operating systems. For example, the find command works slightly differently from AIX 5.1 to AIX 5.3. Doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re working with a large financial company and they demand that the script you wrote works on both versions perfectly. Oh, and it has to be the same script… and they don’t know which machines they’re running it on, so the script needs to figure it out and do the right thing because they won’t install different scripts to different machines.

So, recently as I’ve used my office in Worcester more and more, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to move my primary resources into the office. That includes my servers. Right now, I have a much older Windows 2000 Server running many of my applications, and up until recently, it ran my website. But yesterday I had the revelation that moving that server completely into a virtual machine would probably make a lot of sense. The fact is, the hardware isn’t really all that great. The server doesn’t do a lot anymore other than run SQL Server and act as a test machine for various web based projects that I work on. So yesterday around noon, I started doing just that.

Six hours later, it still wasn’t done. The VMWare image wouldn’t boot. I didn’t understand. I’d created Windows 2000 Server images before, on both my desktop and on my laptop. What gives? Maybe the disk was bad. Nope. My desktop and rackmount server could read it just fine. In fact, it got most of the way through the install several times before it would just hang. After fussing with it for a couple more hours this morning, and poring over VMWare’s website, I finally found the problem.

VMWare + Windows 2000 Server + AMD X2 processors don’t mix.

At least not without a mild modification. Back when I decided to go with rackmount servers for my business, I looked at a lot of different rackmount machines from various vendors before I came to the conclusion that it would be far less expensive for me to build, rather than buy. I was going to save myself around $750 per machine, and since I was buying three of them, I knew it would be worth it. Now, I don’t have much against Dell, but for the sake of having a company to pick on, the fact that they’re the number one PC distributor makes them a big target. I own a lot of Dell equipment. Mostly monitors, cases, and printers. Oh, and monitors.

But I’m not going to pay far above market value just so that I can get the Dell logo on my machine. Thanks anyway, but the time investment on my part was worth $2,250. So, I built three servers, and decided that I really wanted AMD Athlon X2 4400’s with 4GB of RAM, RAID 1 drives, etc.

These are great machines, but it would appear that it really bit me in the butt this time. In an effort to save at least one other person the hassle:

If you’re installing Windows 2000 Server on VMWare Virtual Server hosted on a box with Athlon X2’s in it and you’re having trouble during the install because the setup is hanging during one of the many blue background setup screens, stop the installation and power off the machine. Find the .vmx file, open it in notepad or some other text editor and add this line:

processor1.use = “FALSE”

Save, and restart the machine. Everything should start installing properly. It seems that this disables the second processor, as Windows 2000 isn’t real happy about booting up with a second virtual CPU. It’s been a very long time since I installed Windows 2000 Server directly on a machine with two physical processors, so I don’t recall if there’s anything special that needed to be done during setup. In any case, I hope at least one person finds this little tip useful. If so, you’re welcome.

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Realtime tracking systems

Posted in Daily Entries on November 9th, 2006 by Mike Taber – Be the first to comment

Last week I placed an order with ThinkGeek.com for a couple of surge protectors for my office and a two-in-one, red and green laser pointer for when I’m giving presentations. Yesterday I received my order. Today, I received an email saying that it had shipped and would be arriving shortly. Before you ask, yes I checked the headers and they say the email was sent this afternoon.

Way to be on the ball guys.

On the bright side, at least the tracking information from the DHL website is correct and up to date.

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For Love Or Money

Posted in All Articles, Software Development on November 8th, 2006 by Mike Taber – Be the first to comment

I wrote this article the day that Bill Gates announced he was leaving Microsoft to pursue a career as a philanthropist. It sat on the shelf until about two weeks ago when I started helping Rob Walling edit his article Nine Things Developers Want More Than Money. I couldn’t help but be reminded of it, and Rob encouraged me to publish it. If you enjoy this article, you should definitely check out Rob’s article, which pinpoints what developers are really looking for in a job. Enjoy!

Earlier this year, Bill Gates announced that he will be leaving Microsoft within the next two years. In a way, I’m rather surprised that he lasted this long. Let me tell you, if I had $40 billion in the bank, one of the last things I’d be doing is working. Still, it does prove a point. People have a tendency to work extremely hard at the things they love, regardless of the pay. Great pay helps, but it also prolongs the inevitable if you’re just in it for the money.

To be honest, I have worked some places just for the money. It’s not fun. In fact, it downright sucks going to work at a place you simply can’t stand just to see a fine looking paycheck at the end of the week. The common inclination is to think you would feel otherwise in that situation. “Oh, if I were making six figures, I wouldn’t care what I was doing. I’d work there forever.”

No, you wouldn’t. I guarantee it. It’s not about the money. It never is. People always say this, but it isn’t true. It’s about enjoying your career. If you work at a job for long enough that you don’t like, you’re going to eventually start looking around for what else is out there. There are two underlying reasons for this.

First, and more importantly, the job sucks. It’s either boring, not challenging, monotonous, or you sit in meetings all day when you hate going to meetings, etc… You make up excuses like “I’m working from home today because my Chihuahua is sick and I need to take him to the vet.” Be honest. You don’t even own a Chihuahua.

Let me put things a little differently. If you had a 9-5 job where your sole task was to sharpen pencils all day long and it paid 50% more than what you were making now, or $100k/year (whichever is greater), how long do you think you would last? A day? A month? A year? What about two years? And your ten year plan is what? Sharpen enough pencils to get in the Guinness Book of World Records! Score!!! Maybe not.

The second reason is that after a while, you come to realize that you need to move on and find a new job, even if it means taking a pay cut. As you sharpen those pencils every day, you literally feel your brain being dulled as the pencils grow sharper. They are now being sharpened by osmosis. Do that too long, and you will become utterly unemployable, and then where would you be? I’ll give you a hint. It’s one word, starts with ‘unemploy’, and ends with ‘ed’.

When I lived in Rochester, NY, there were some companies that I would have taken a $20k pay cut to work at because the work would have been exciting, incredibly interesting, and my technical talents would have increased tremendously. Personal growth is important to everyone, no matter what career you have. Try as they may, a lot of companies don’t seem to understand this and don’t offer career advancement paths. This is partly why I left the IT department at Wegmans, which has been touted a number of times as one of the best companies to work for. I eventually just got bored.

When I first moved to Massachusetts, I had started looking around at jobs and was considering a mild career change from that of a software developer to more of a software/hardware interfacing developer. I have the hardware training. Hell, if I can reverse engineer and rewire a Furby so you can control it over the internet, I can sure as hell get somewhere in a hardware/software interfacing career.

On the power of my cover letter alone, I was able to land an interview at iRobot. I was told that my cover letter blew them away and was their basis for even calling me. I had basically explained my experience and that I was considering a career change and wanted a chance in the ‘new’ field. They were impressed with the projects I had undertaken outside of work and wanted to bring me in.

I guess in my mind, it wouldn’t have really been all that much of a new career. I mean, after you’ve designed a CPU at the substrate layer, interfacing IC chips to form a product just seems like a natural extension of that.
But the job market is a funny place and you’re not going to even get a foot in the door unless it’s an entry level position, and this was an entry level position.

Unfortunately, I had to decline the iRobot interview as I had accepted a position at Pedestal Software literally the day before. I hadn’t signed anything with Pedestal, but I wasn’t going to go back on my word. I guess that’s just the type of person I am. I thanked iRobot, and that was the end of it. Sort of. The HR rep spent the next five minutes begging me to “just come in for an interview and see what you think”. Three years later, iRobot went public. Oops.

It turns out that I could have done what I loved, and probably made a lot of money at the same time. Pedestal Software did very well for itself and was eventually acquired by Altiris to the tune of $65-$75 million or so. (The actual amount is a bit fuzzy, since it depends on how you count their cash on hand, and who was speaking when the press release was issued.) Me? Well, I really enjoyed working at Pedestal, but I made less than $10k from my stock options, which turns out to be around 0.00014% of the deal. It made me realize something.

A lot of people have delusions of grandeur when working at startups. This product is going to be great, everyone is going to want one, and we’re all going to be rich!

Yea? Let me know how that works out for you.

The most viable exit strategy for most companies these days is selling out to a larger company, which by default means no IPO. The reality is that unless you’re the CEO or one of the founders of a company, you’re not going to make a lot of money when that happens. By a lot, I mean millions of dollars. Even vice presidents of startups don’t make a huge amount of money when the company is sold. They make a few hundred thousand to be sure, so it’s not as if it wasn’t worth their time. But they don’t make out nearly as well as the CEO and the founders.

An IPO is reserved for Google, iRobot and those other rare, one in 100,000 startups. But you don’t have to go public with your company to have a successful career. You don’t have to sell your startup company to make a good living.

One of the things that attracts a lot of people to the Fog Creek way of doing things is how Joel lays everything out. It’s not that he has truly original ideas. But Joel has a unique way with words and puts things so well that it’s very difficult to disagree with him unless you start nitpicking, at which time you’re probably missing the point of his argument anyway.

Who doesn’t want to work at a company where the engineers make the decisions instead of the marketing or sales guys? When is the last time you talked with a sales or marketing guy who really understood the underlying technology? Unless he was a developer turned sales guy, I bet you never have. Part of the reason for this is the barrier to entry for a developer to get into sales. When you make the money you do as a developer, it’s really hard to give all that up and start over at the bottom rung, taking a huge pay cut. Not impossible, but very difficult. In a market like Boston where rent and mortgages are outrageously expensive, it’s even more difficult.

As desirable as these people would be, I would wager that you will likely never even have the opportunity to hire one. Do you know why? Because these are the type of people who start their own companies. They not only see and understand what people want and need, but they have the technical background to build it. They understand all of the angles and realize that they can control their own destiny, and that’s what self funding your own company is all about. Being in complete control of your own destiny.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone out there needs to run out and start their own company to have a happy and healthy career. Far from it. You simply need to work in an environment that is encouraging you and your professional growth, rather than discouraging it.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a bit of a geek, and you enjoy being a geek. Karnaugh maps are cool. At least a little bit. Wiring Furby’s to the internet is even cooler. Geeky, but definitely cool. Gadgets and gizmos, slashdot and thinkgeek. We play with new technology on our own time for one good reason. Because we can and because we like it. Ok, that was two reasons. $echo complaints | /dev/null

When you first get out of college, life is great. You get a job as a developer, and although it’s grunt work, the pay is better than you got working at the Student Union flipping burgers or washing aprons. As time goes on, things change. Despair.com and Dilbert turn into role models as working in corporate America gradually takes its toll. I’ve said it in the past, and I’ll say it again. Dilbert is only funny because its true. We’ve all had our PHB’s and wondered what life would be like without them.

And you know what? It’s really hard to find companies that aren’t like that. That’s why I started Moon River Software. I was tired of looking for one. Convincing Joel to move Fog Creek, or Eric Sink to move SourceGear to Boston simply wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

So now, I’m doing what I love, there are no PHB’s in sight, and things are going well. As someone who went before me probably said, “I think I’m onto something here”.

Special thanks to Rob Walling for reading drafts of this article.

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Routing problems fixed

Posted in Daily Entries on November 7th, 2006 by Mike Taber – Be the first to comment

Since Friday when I installed my new colocation server, I’ve been experiencing routing problems. Basically, everyone could get to my server except for me. Technically, if I were to VPN from my home office into my office in Worcester, I could see my server without a problem, but some routing broadcasts at my ISP were incorrect and traffic was ending up in an infinite loop. Eventually, the TTL’s would expire and the packets would just get dropped.

Today, those problems have been fixed, so I can get back to writing. Look for a new article later today.

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