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Joel's Apprentice

News

May 12, 2005 06:59 PM PST

Joel on Software is sponsoring a documentary of new product development by interns. News.com.com paints it as an apprentice type show, but my take is that it's more likely to be similar to Startup.com or e-Dreams - two stories of .com companies that went boom and bust.

Not that Joel's company will suffer the same fate; like many others in the computer industry I find JoelOnSoftware.com a well thought out blog about the software development industry. I'm really looking forward to this DVD documentary being released in the Fall.

Comments (6)

john, May 13, 2005 11:36 AM:

Yeah Joel is an intertesting character. Its not that his company is super sucessful, just that he managed to become well known via his blog. He is not always right, so it will be good to see the good and bad of his experience.
I predict that it won't be long before we start seeing internet video shows like real world only for start ups.

Wheelson, May 13, 2005 03:13 PM:

We just finished up a project where a I led a team of interns through the test phase. Another dev lead led them through the development phase. I can't imagine the drama that will go on with the cameras there. I wouldn't think that a reality show about software engineers would be all that exciting. Do you think they'll make it exciting with added drama. Or am I missing someting and software development actually makes good film every else but where I work?

Paul, May 13, 2005 03:38 PM:

Well, I guess it depends what you mean by "super successful". Apparently, he only employs 5 full time workers and he profits have doubled every year for the past 5 years... if that isn't success, I don't know what is.

J, May 13, 2005 07:42 PM:

And they only work 40 hrs a week. In general this will probably be interesting only to a select few, but I think with cameras floating around, we'll see some good cubicle antics and pranks.

John, May 14, 2005 03:17 AM:

Yeah good call on the 'super successful' comment. I suppose I needed to adjust my scale. I wouldn't mind have a small fraction of that kind of success. I think a better way to phase my point would be that there are many similar companies with similar success stories that don't get anywhere near the nerd press that Joel and Eric Sink seem to spin up.

Wheelson, well you wouldn't think that software development would make for interesting drama, but some geeks like me find shows like startup.com very facinating. Of course there is always 'manufactured' drama on reality TV, I mean come on does anyone really think Ozzy is THAT stupid? I think back in the bubble days it would have been interesting to have near 'real-time' glimses into some of the top names during their rise and fall. Certainly not mainstream, but something you could stream of the web would have been cool.

Wheelson, May 14, 2005 07:19 AM:

Don't get me wrong, I'll watch this with great interest and to me, it will be interesting. I guess what I'm saying is that I hope they don't try to make it appeal to a wider audience by "spicing" it up with lame/fake overly dramatic arguments and antics. Also, another way to make it appeal to a wider audience would be to focus on the drama rather than the technical details of product development. If I want drama I can watch NBC so for this I'd hope they focus on the technical details.

I was sort of kidding about the "is it really that exciting" as more of a comment on how unexciting TV shot at my work would be whether it was geared toward the geek or not.

Personally I'm very interested to see just how awesome these guys and this company is. I read through his site and if there is truth behind his words then I should be able to learn a lot from watching how they do things on this show.

After going through a similar process with interns I'll be interested to see how they balance things like documentation with the inherent desire in interns to not write documentation, or to write it poorly. I'll specifically be interested in the portion where they start the testing. I'll be interested to see what methods they use and to see what kind of attitude they take toward testing.






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