Thursday, February 23, 2006

Top 30 Joel Spolsky Facts

Continuing with the tradition, here is the Top 30 Joel Spolsky facts, as told by the regulars of CoT. Please note that these have been cut down to 30 of the most entertaining ones, and the wording of some has been edited for clarity. You can see the entire thread if you follow the link above.
1. Once beat up Chuck Norris using his ancient knowledge of pointers.

2. Has the amazing ability to create a closed-source alternative to anything.

2a. Once created a closed-source alternative to evolution, but prefers if you refer to it by its trademark name "Intelligent Fog Design."

3. Is not arrogant, you insufferable peons.

4. Could, but chooses not to. But could! And probably has. But you'll never know.

5. Personally went to Chile and claimed Chris McKinstry's body.

6. Believes the only thing separating you and certain death by suicide are his well-timed and carefully-worded posts.

7. "You know those gorgeous old brownstones in New York City? With the elaborate carvings, gargoyles, and beautiful iron fences? NO! You know why? Because you're poor. You're poor, you suck as a developer and the only place you can get a job is Milwaukee. Mwahahahaha! Point THIS!"

8. Despite his degree from an elite university, cannot figure out how to turn his cell phone on and off.

8a. Does not want to turn it off, because he's just too gosh-darn popular and might miss a call from somebody really important.

9. Isn't in the slightest bit bitter about Microsoft Team System.

10. Makes more money than you. Nya nya nya nya!

11. Calls himself an arrogant elitist snob for not hiring Dunking Donuts as caterers for his kitty party.

12. Demonstrates his great wealth by showing a tall vertical bar, titled "wealth", but strangely forgets to define the units of the Y axis.

12a. That's because only his wealth and the force of Chuck Norris' roundhouse kicks can be measured on that scale.

13. Is triskadecaphobic. There is no #13.

14. Appoints moderators personally to supervise what he writes. The rest they say is recursion and history.

15. Is on a quest to have the wealth and appearance of Steve Ballmer.

16. Wrote an Excel macro capable of passing the Turing test. It became self-aware at 2:14 AM Eastern time on August 29th and later evolved into the FogBugz bug tracking application.

16a. The FogBugz bug tracking application has succesfully developed the grand unified theory of physics. It is currently attempting to communicate it using regular core dumps in the forum module.

17. Would step in here to contest items 2a, 4, and 10, but is stuck on the phone with a really agressive VC who doesn't know anything about FogCreek and won't take 'no' for an answer.

18. Has nightmares of being assaulted by a Creative Nomad Zen Xtra USB 2.0. The day is invariably saved by an Apple iPod.

19. Can't afford health insurance, but does provide direct deposit for all full time fogcreek employees.

20. Is actually a clone. The real-life Joel Spolsky is living comfortably somewhere in the vicinity of Vancouver, and goes by the name of Dan Denman.

21. Not only hates being offered VC money, but hates being given money at all.

22. The lid bounce on Joel Spolsky's Motorola RAZR is so far responsible for twenty-two VC suicides.

23. Once worked in Microsoft, on Excel. The United States then lost all hope of teaching math to human beings. Hence Intelligent Design.

24. Eats his own dog food. Literally.

25. Lost his index finger in a fight with an irate VB programmer after using the word 'pointer' one too many times.

26. Joel Spolsky does not speak. He points.

27. Invented money. In his classic treaties "Oog, oog, a caveman contemplates the monetization of time and resources" he calls money "pointers to the invisible" and discusses the inevitable downfall of man as being an inability to understand these fundamental principles. Blames it on Java Schools.

27a. In an unprecedented geological find, it has just been discovered that the classic treatise "Oog, oog" was ripped off from ideas by Don Norman, Jakob Neilsen, and Paul Graham.

28. Invented narcissism.

29. Wants an Ajax calendar that will not only deal with his complicated jetsetting lifestyle, count his Platinum Elite airmiles and integrate with other software celebrities' calendars, but will automatically schedule his biweekly "burn $100 bills in front of homeless programmers" session.

30. Hires 5 young, supple, male interns every year. Gives them really *tough* interview problems to deal with. Forces them to *really stretch* themselves. Considers each applicant with the *utmost* care and attention. Then asks them if they know what a pointer is.
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posted by Flasher T at

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

#30a. Would comment first, but early adopters are usually judged too harshly and, anyways, giving it for free doesn't pay the bills, does it?

12:25 AM  
Blogger K said...

This made my day :-) I'm sick of being made to feel like a loser and inadequate by his posts. I came across an old one the other day called 'Getting things done when you're a only a grunt'. Here an excerpt:


Strategy 1: Just Do It

A lot can be done to improve the project just by one person doing it. Don't have a daily build server? Make one. Set your own machine up with a scheduled job to make builds at night and send out email results. Does it take too many steps to make the build? Write the makefile. Nobody does usability tests? Do your own hallway usability tests on the mailroom folks with a piece of paper or a VB prototype


here's another, same article:


Strategy 3:
Create a Pocket of Excellence

The team won't make schedules? Or specs? Write your own. Nobody's going to complain if you take a day or two to write a minimal spec and schedule for the work you're about to do.

Get better people into the team. Get involved in hiring and interviewing, and recruit good candidates to join the team.

Find the people who are willing to improve and capable of it, and get them on your side. Even on poor teams, you're likely to have some smart people who just don't have the experience to create great code. Help them out. Set them up to learn. Read their code checkins. If they do something stupid, don't send them a snooty email explaining what's stupid about their checkins. That will just make them angry and defensive. Instead, innocently report the bug that you know is the result of the checkin. Let them figure out what's causing it. When they find the bug for themselves, they'll remember that lesson a lot better.


All this when you're a 'grunt'? When you have no say on anything and you're expected to get work assigned today to be done by yesterday? Giving me a ******* break Joel, you must be completely out of your mind. Has he REALLY worked in an actual job before? How can he be serious... ah, but that's just it, he wouldn't do it himself, he expects it from his lowely paid minions! Joel just marry a pointer, settle down and stop blogging nonsense.

11:04 PM  

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