Program or be Programmed
The Perks of Being a Developer
If you work at a startup and have ever seen two engineers cozied up next to each other on a beanbag chair intently gazing into the same computer screen, you’ve probably got some pair programmers on your hands. Soon, like a couple who has soured on each other’s affection, they will quibble over the tiniest infractions and eat dinner sullenly, with nothing more to say to each other.
The concept of pair programming–two engineers sharing a computer and working on the same code together–is nothing new, but The Wall Street Journal has discovered the phenomenon and seems simultaneously shocked and awed by how it works.
Startups and established tech companies alike love nothing so much as feeding their employees. How else does one keep developers tied to their desks for those all-night coding sprints? However, just a few days of eating at one’s desk and the filth starts to build up–pizza grease, Cheeto dust, and let’s not even discuss the trauma of soaking one’s setup in cold coffee.
Luckily, Logitech has heard the prayers of techies everywhere and just debuted a keyboard that is washable. We’re not talking a mere sponge bath, either–the demo video shows a keyboard fully immersed in a tank of water. Finally, freedom from the consequences of our lunch-related decisions.
Surely it’s only a matter of time before we see this added to the standard array of Silicon Alley/Valley perks. At the very least, it’ll do more for the quality of one’s worklife than a Segway.
(h/t @Farhad Manjoo)
All this time we thought programmers were the rock stars, but according to Reuters, designers are beginning to surreptitiously usurp that title. A breathless feature entitled “In Silicon Valley, designers emerge as rock stars” claims that designers are becoming just as valued as programmers when it comes to building startups. Who knew that in order for people to use a product, it has to look as good as it works? (Everyone.)
This is a guest post from Tarikh Korula, founder of Uncommon Projects, and originally appeared at his blog, unprojects.
I’m often asked what the difference is between NYU’s ITP and MIT’s Media Lab. Sometimes from prospective students, but mostly from high-powered executives or important writers who have heard of the program or The Show. I had one friend once who left Media Lab disappointed, so I’m super-qualified to speak about it.
MIT kids are smart. Really smart. They probably have been studying violin since they were, like, two. Then they wrote software algorithms when they were 10 to approximate a symphony that could play along with them in real time while they played Bach concertos. If these kids were a rock band, they’d be Emerson, Lake and Palmer with a laser show and a 360 major label deal.
ITP kids are… resourceful. We didn’t invent hacking or email or lasers and shit. We invented QTVR, PComp, Gurl, Arduino and Foursquare. Instead of beautiful John Meada visualizations, we’ve got a lot of wooden tiles that move in concert to show you a picture of yourself and we think that’s art. It’s not really, but we never studied art so we don’t really know any better. If we were a rock band, we’d be the Ramones with their shitty recording contract and Laurie Anderson playing midi controlled tambourine.