Aardvark’dPosted: November 15, 2005
I’ve always thought it would be cool to see one of those Fox type teen-ploitation type soaps following a group of misfits and their meanderings in the software industry. All kinds of dorky stuff happens at work, this has got to make good crappy TV. For example, how often do you see scenes like Scooter the Miniature Dachshund having a pannick attack over the mere site of someone’s Great Dane wandering down the hall at work? You don’t catch that in your typical episode of The OC. I won’t even go into the endless Dilbert-isms that happen on a daily basis.
Those Fantasies aside, Joel Spolsky just blogged about a DVD documentary he sponsored about the making of a software app (called Aardvark’d) by his interns. I just picked up a copy (trailer here) as I’m a bit of student of the process of building great apps. I’m a Joel fan and a big advocate of the importance of good Program Management in successful software development (even if I don’t always agree with him totally). One thing about the position is it’s really hard to describe to people what you do (sometimes even engineers you work with :-). I figure this documentary might make a loaner to my parents so they they can get a better idea of what I do other than work at Amazon.
A few other titles about “the industry” I’ve stumbled across that I would recommend:
- Triumph of the Nerds. A great introduction to how Microsoft, Apple and Silicon Valley came about by Robert Cringely. Available on Netflix
- E-Dreams. Covers the rise and fall of Kozmo.com. A perfect tale of the ridiculousness of the Internet boom years. Available on Netflix
- Nightline: The Deep Dive. Excellent piece on industrial design firm Ideo’s process for innovation. Short clip here in Quicktime.