This was the first weekend since going to New York that I havent taken my laptop home for the weekend.
I decided to leave it in work on Friday and as this weekend was a bank holiday only got to check my mail etc today. The break was good.
The weather was roasting and I spent the last 3 days lying on the beach reading. I picked up a book called Adventures in Code
"Adventures in Code tells the story of the software industry in Ireland through the experiences of its key figures. It explains how a small country with no apparent aptitude for applications development produced hundreds of small exporting companies and broke through the barriers to selling non-American products in the US. This remarkable achievement deserves attention because it reflects the broader socio-economic-cultural evolution of Ireland over the past 25 years and offers insights into the country’s changing relationships with the rest of the world."
While an interesting read in places, the book had a very poor structure and focused more on stats an percentages than giving insights and anecdotes on software development in Ireland. I found the whole book quite boring and biased. The key figures responsible for the driving of software development in Ireland were painted too favourably and it was apparent the author didnt want to piss people off. For instance, a number of these so called legends wasted alot of money on stupid ventures which were quickly brushed under the carpet.
Even though this book was meant to focus on software development, too many pages were filled with product service companies who wrote NO code such as CadCo and Horizon etc One interesting part of the book was the running theme of cashflow. Nearly every software house ran into cash flow difficulties and struggled along doing Service and Contract work to survive while also trying to roll out some products.
The successful companies achieved this by focusing on specific areas. The message of the book is one we see everyday and that is that companies dont really care how good a piece of software actually is as long as its affordable and saves money in the long term...
It was both blood boiling and interesting though to read about companies in Cork who we are now bidding against for work. At one stage 3 Cork companies were mentioned together and I had a little chuckle cause we have beaten 2 of these companies for contracts in our local area :-)