A Builder in a Build Land


While sitting here, waiting for the Firefox 2.0 RC 2 candidates to finish compiling (go Win32 SpeedRacer!!), I started thinking about that post I wrote (has it already been?!) two weeks ago.
After re-reading it, I fired up Google to scour the blogosphere to see if anyone else is writing about this stuff. “Build/Release Engineering blog” seemed like a good place to start.
The picking were pretty slim, with the first twenty or so results all posts referring to build/release engineers, job pages (including a cache of MoCo’s old Careers page), and feed links to… well… my blog.
That’s… uhh… real useful there.
Next I tried “build engineering blog,” which pointed me at Make Magazine’s blog and a bunch of Google API documentation? Hrm… alright.
Release engineering blog” doesn’t get us any closer, providing a weird combination of content from “build engineering blog” and random posts complaining about release dates of various products slipping.
Changing my search trajectory, I tried “scm blog.” I guess the business majors’ “SCM” is more popular than mine.
All in all, I managed to find two lighthouses in the Supply Chain Management-dominated sea.


I’ve said it before, but I really enjoy Joel On Software.
The most engaging aspect of his essays is how they prompt me to consider subjects I normally wouldn’t. Sure, a lot of the Win32-specific stuff he discusses every so often isn’t directly applicable to my daily hacking-life, but most of it, including his treatises on scheduling and the other “soft stuff,” apply in a “build land.” Admittedly, the wavelength is often… a few degrees out of phase, so it does require some mental modulation.
But that probably isn’t the most valuable aspect of his writings: I don’t always agree with him.
Sometimes, he writes about Microsoft with a nostalgic flare that would choke a anti-trust judge. And I can’t say that I’m impressed with his constant reference to Netscape’s “huge mistake.1
But whether or not you agree, this valus is in pushing the discourse forward. Making others form their own opinions, translating to their own sandboxes as necessary, should never be underestimated.
And honestly, I’ve never seen a man—to say nothing of a software engineersquee so much about his office space [re]design.
I just love it.

While creating a new Movable Type category thingy, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had heard that word somewhere.
I asked a friend what he thought of when I said it, and he said “Oh, that’s like ‘poor little boy’ in Spanish.”
Urban Dictionary is less charitable, but as for the subject matter discussed herein, probably more accurate.
What I have yet to figure out is whether it refers to the author… or the reader(s?).
I guess you’ll have to tell me.
And while you’re at it, feel free to pass along any Google-fu on finding more lighthouses to be looking out for.
1 I go back and forth on that one; the truth is probably somewhere in between…