Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's been...

... a wide spectrum of experiences. I didn't want to just say "fun" because it hasn't always been fun. But then again, it is work, so fun is an added bonus. The company I have been with for the last 8 years (plus a few more as a co-op student) is closing down. I've been trying to think of some words of wisdom, summaries, histories etc. but I don't think the time is right for that just yet. Instead, I found something in this article that nicely illustrated what I enjoyed about "the old days" at work.

The article is an ACM Queue interview with one of the original designers of the ARM chip, Steve Furber. During a description about why the original ARM chip was so small, power efficient and cheap, Mr. Furber commented that:

This is good management retrospective: by depriving us of resources of any sort, they forced us to make decisions in favor of simplicity. -- Steve Furber
There were many parallels to BBC Micro and my old company - both were small, had limited resources and was an outside player in a potentially large market. In those earlier days, trying to do the impossible seemed like the only way to survive, so we went for it. They were exciting times and it worked - for a while. The later down hill slide is where my old organization and BBC Micro differed. I believe the small size and lack of resources resulted in steps forward that could not be duplicated by the company we became.

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