Joel Spolsky Must Be Stopped

Joel has been a hot topic of discussion in the blogosphere lately. It started with his Language Wars post where he ended a perfectly rational discussion about the risks of choosing between C#, Java, PHP, or Python with a highly incongruous paragraph that introduced Wasabi, the proprietary language they wrote for FogBugz development. It was so unusual and generated so much discussion that it prompted a response where Joel had to explain that he wasn’t kidding – Wasabi is real.

Along the way he disparaged Ruby and RoR for performance issues and for being too risky. Sure, it seemed strange to brag about taking on the risk of a proprietary domain-specific language at the end of a discussion about avoiding risk. That and the Ruby disrespect prompted several interesting posts (e.g. Joel, you have got to be kidding (which cites David Heinemeier Hansson’s Fear, Uncertain, and Doubt by Joel Spolsky), Has Joel Spolsky Jumped the Shark?, Joel On Ruby Performance, etc.)

But that’s not what’s got me frustrated with Joel.

First he created Ack. Like I need to see that. “Great software jobs, great people”. Damn. And there’s an RSS feed. Great – so now I’m reminded every 30 minutes about great jobs at great companies, some in the Boston area.

But it gets worse. Then he wrote a 3-part series (1, 2, and 3) called The Guerrilla Guide to Hiring. Like I need to be reminded about private offices, quiet working conditions, “why just putting on headphones to drown out the ambient noise has been shown to reduce the quality of work that programmers produce”, Aeron chairs, dual 21″ monitors, The Joel Test.


7 Responses to “Joel Spolsky Must Be Stopped”

  1. Solomon says:

    Agreed. We should say anything more about Joel Spolsky. His name, Joel, shouldn’t even be mentioned in polite conversation. Joel’s products, such as FogBugz — the bug tracking software; Copilot — the easy to use remote desktop software; and City Desk — the website managing software should not be mentioned either.

    Viewing the Project Advark video about the Fog Creek Interns should be illegal.

    In short, I whole-heartedly agree with you. Joel Spolsky must be stopped!

  2. He really is a hypocritical fool!

    I agreee, I wish he’d just shut it.

  3. Burt says:

    Um, Chris, this was sarcasm.

  4. Brian says:

    Sarcam? Really? I think there are a lot of people that want this guy hit by a bus.

  5. Kyle Hart says:

    In defense of the perceived incongruity between panning Rails and describing a lesser project Wasabi, I don’t think the comparison makes sense at all.

    Wasabi is an application-specific pre-compiler. It isn’t a true general purpose language and it wasn’t designed to be used outside of Fog Creek. As Joel describes, they had multiple platforms to support and rather than have two code bases, they tried something a bit innovative – writing a pre-compiler that addresses a small set of differences in the target languages. And they only needed to do this for methods and features of the target languages that they actually used in their applications.

    In my mind, this is a brilliant long-term approach to a difficult problem, and I believe Joel’s assessment that it was worth the investment (or will eventually be worth it).

    With regard to hiring, its only because he hires the best that he can pull of something as smart as Wasabi.


  6. Burt says:

    Perhaps I should switch to LiveJournal with a “mood” annotation for each post, and use lots of emoticons to indicate my level of seriousness (or lack thereof). Solomon (1st comment) got it, so I guess I’ll stick with WordPress.

  7. Kyle Hart says:

    Alright already. Damn him for making us and the companies we work for seem idiotic and impotent.

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