Optimize for Happiness

Tom Preston-Werner on building github.com:

In a world dominated by news about Facebook, Apple, Google, YouTube, Zappos, and other companies heavily funded by venture capital, it’s easy to forget that you can still build a highly profitable business with significant impact on a global market without having to first spend three months on Sand Hill Road asking for permission to build your product.

A message that anyone who has spent 5 mins with me will recognize.

Speaking of Java and sliding irrelevance

Doug Lea, father of JSR-166, has decided what many have known for a while.

The JCP sucks:

Here is the promised explanation for why I am not seeking another term
on the JCP Executive Committee: I believe that the JCP is no longer a
credible specification and standards body, and there is no remaining
useful role for an independent advocate for the academic and research
community on the EC.

With Apple stepping down from their role as official steward of the Mac OS X version of the JDK, that leaves Oracle as the sole decision maker for many parts of Javas future.

A role I’m sure we all trust Larry to play fairly and judiciously.

CIO vs. CTO

When I’ve been out selling my A Part-Time CTO services, I’ve sometimes run up against a company saying they have a CIO already, so why do they need a CTO? It’s a good question. I’ve been reading a lot about the role of the CIO and it’s constantly evolving responsibilities. A good primer on the subject is a white paper from PWC title “The situational CIO”.

After talking with CEOs and other CTOs & CIOs, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re never really have both a CIO and a CTO. Your company is going to fall into one of two categories:

  • Technology is integral to your company. You have a CTO that manages the entire IT organization, including software development and infrastructure. Your CTO reports directly to the CEO and is a peer with the other CxO executives.
  • Technology is newer to your company and/or not as integral. In those cases, you probably already have a CIO who overseas several areas. There is a Director or VP of Technology that reports directly to the CIO

This is only my conclusion after a dozen or so conversations over a month, so I could be wrong. However, I think understanding where technology in general and a CTO in particular fits into an organization structure, compared to much older and well defined areas, is very valuable. It allows for technology to be given it’s proper seat at the table, so to speak.