Friday, 19 March 2010

Faux Goodbye To Joel

Today is the first day of faux retirement of the venerable Joel Spolsky. He first announced he's about to stop blogging in his Inc. column. Then he also wrote a nice little piece on his original blog, Joel on Software. I must admit I much more enjoyed the latter. Every now and then I go and revisit some of the best articles he wrote. You'll be well advised to do the same, even if you know nothing about software, and similar.

Luckily, and unsurprisingly Joel will not completely disappear form the face of the Internet. We'll still be honoured by an odd missive on Joel on Software. Even more luckily, he also renounced, and in no uncertain terms, the abomination that is Twitter. I've also partaken of that particular apple, and I could not agree more with Joel's brilliant paragraph from his last "retirement" post. It is so good, I won'e even try to do anything but quote it here in its entirety:

Although I appreciate that many people find Twitter to be valuable, I find it a truly awful way to exchange thoughts and ideas. It creates a mentally stunted world in which the most complicated thought you can think is one sentence long. It’s a cacophony of people shouting their thoughts into the abyss without listening to what anyone else is saying. Logging on gives you a page full of little hand grenades: impossible-to-understand, context-free sentences that take five minutes of research to unravel and which then turn out to be stupid, irrelevant, or pertaining to the television series Battlestar Galactica. I would write an essay describing why Twitter gives me a headache and makes me fear for the future of humanity, but it doesn’t deserve more than 140 characters of explanation, and I’ve already spent 820.

Add on top of that all sort of spam emanating from this horrible outlet, and also a host of security issues it has, and you can fully appreciate why a lot of people are shunning the thing.

But I don't want to morph this into a tirade against Twitter. This post is truly in honour of Joel Spolsky and all he's done to the betterment of the software industry, and the world in general. It is a shame he'll stop doing it in exactly the same way as in the last ten years, but I have not a shred of a doubt that he'll use the next ten in an equally good and clever way.

Here's to you Joel, and to all that you still have to tell us!

Joel's photo lifted from here. I hope he won't mind, and I also believe it's OK even going by the letter of the law (you know: the comment and review bit).