I’ve been in the tech industry for quite a while. Enough where I should be a lot higher than where I am. However, I usually end up in senior/lead roles and I think at this point, I have the experience to share what ends up happening in those roles and how one should handle them.
I just saw an article posted on the LA Times regarding the potential unionizing of the game and tech industries. In particular, Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (or CODE) “is a new project of the Communications Workers of America aimed specifically at unionizing video game and tech companies.” This has a lot of implications for tech workers (such as myself) and I would like to weigh both ends of the spectrum here.
When social media first came out (friendster, myspace, orkut, hi5, etc.), I was enthralled and wanted to partake in the space. It was at a time when the only manner of making money on the web was through ecommerce. Social media provided a new mechanism that went beyond the shopping cart as a possibility for employment and ideas. However, over time, I had become disenchanted by the evolution of social media. This blog discusses my disillusionment and general distancing from these platforms.
Silicon Valley season 5 has made me really start rethinking the way of technology in terms of evolution. The internet in it’s inception helped move us away from heavy desktop clients (i.e. the stranglehold Microsoft had on the OS). But as the internet grew heavier, cloud computing became an unstoppable force. Now, with privacy concerns, issues of data retention and just the general cost of maintaining cloud based systems, we need to re-examine the real need with the cloud, especially since mobile has evolved.
There’s a scene from Silicon Valley in season 1 where the character Bighead comments how he just wanted to be an engineer to work on cool things rather than compete for shares against his best friend. It’s a resonating thing for someone like myself who has spent 19 years in this industry. Like Bighead, I just wanted to build cool things. Yet I’m still waiting.
With the Facebook data breach comes yet another data breach. The result is that the senate is starting to step in more seriously in pushing Facebook on protection over user privacy. On the outset, it seems as though the government wants to enforce a blanket policy for companies to allow users to own their data (with Facebook particularly in mind here). But is there more to this than meets the eye?
While Mark Zuckerberg probably has little to do directly with Facebook’s recent data breach, we must ask whether or not the CEO of such a company should be held accountable for such a massive event. In reality, ever since the Enron scandal, publicly traded companies can persecute the CEO and CFO for things like insider trading that causes their shareholders to be mislead and lose significant value. While this area is not exactly the same, we must examine if a company that essentially has data on a good population of the earth should be held to similar standards, especially in this so-called information age.
A few weeks ago I took Instagram off my phone. The number of ads playing had become unbearable to the point where it wasn’t worth keeping around. I still check out the website because I can use an adblocker but I feel that there’s no reason to use the mobile application. But at this stage the only two remaining social network applications I have retained on my phone are Snapchat and Twitter. And I never use Snapchat anymore. But what happened? Why am I going through social media withdrawal?
I don’t really hate PHP. Yes, I do. Maybe not. It pays the bills. Either way, for me PHP has been a decade long enduring (endearing?) period of the abusive girlfriend syndrome for me. All the places that I have worked where PHP was employed at some level had major issues. But why is that?
As someone who has worked in LA for quite a while, I’ve come to the general conclusion that the tech scene for the most part is god awful for engineers. At least developers who want to accomplish something meaningful and allow to do something where they feel their soul is being sucked dry. But why is that? What in particular is it that creates such a horrid vacuum for the average developer just trying to get by out here?