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We Are Not A Sausage Factory!

Company Blogs May 27, 2011 By James Min Staff

I finally got around to watching the film, Welcome To Macintosh. I thought it was hilarious, whether you are an Apple fanboy, a staunch Windows user, or Linux freak (like me). I thought this ex-Apple engineer was the funniest. He used to be with Apple pretty much from the start, and left before Apple's latest boom in the 2000's. He worked on their OS team, worked on Quicktime, and the sound manager (among other things). He also was responsible for the Mac startup sound that is still there today. 



The funniest comment he made was at about the 1:48 mark:

"The people on the outside think that, ya know... It's like this wonderful world of Oz, or Disney going on, and all of us are just these brilliant amazing happy people, and like, it's not. It's like a sausage factory, man, you really don't wanna know how this stuff happens. A lot of it is just bad arguments, politics, and working around the rules, and not doing the right thing, and apologizing for it later, and getting fired a few times. I mean, that's how things got done. It's definietly like, 'Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain," There's a lot of that kind of stuff. And like, you really don't want to know how this stuff is built. To me, it's embarrassing, like, there's always big flaws to a lot of this stuff."

If you've had the experience of working for at least a few companies in the software industry, you probably think this is hilarious because it is often true. Even at a company like Apple, which has risen from the brink of being obsolete in the 90's, to being a company and brand that is synonymous with design and engineering (at least to the public at large), there are skeletons. 

I've worked in software development for the health care industry, a small enterprise software company during the dot com boom of the 90's, for Sun Microsystems, for an investment bank in NYC, and in the entertainment industry for one of the big studios in Los Angeles. Liferay is the first place that I have worked where I am really proud of the code! It's a pretty darn clean (albeit large) code base. Our chief software architect, Brian Chan, might disagree and say it could be even cleaner, but my personal opinion is that his OCD nature toward the portal core won't ever let him be satisfied. I can't say I haven't witnessed some heated arguments between Liferay core developers, but if you ask me, it's always resulted in what is best for the product at that time, and most importantly, best for the Liferay community... not to mention something that is just plain cool. 

Anyhow, if you haven't seen the film, I'd recommend it for some laughs, especially if you have ever worked for a hi tech company. Depending on your view of Apple,however, you may be put off by some of the Apple "propaganda". Still, I found it entertaining. wink

Just for the record, this is absolutely not an indication of how Apple currently does business. The film was simply entertaining and I do enjoy many of Apple's products, from my first Mac SE/30 to my iPhone4 today. 

Threaded Replies Author Date
If you are serious about being proud of this... Jelmer Kuperus May 31, 2011 4:33 AM

If you are serious about being proud of this project's source code and this is not some marketing ruse, I suggest you pick up any of the following titles

Clean code
Code complete
Effective java
Implementation patterns
Java concurrency in practice
Design patterns
etc etc

You might be suprised that the outside world has a different view
Posted on 5/31/11 4:33 AM.