Joel Spolsky

founder, Fog Creek Software

Joel on Software
51 minutes, 23.6mb, recorded 2004-09-20
Topics: Microsoft
IT Conversations' producer Doug Kaye interviews the author of Joel on Software, an online column initially inspired by Philip Greenspun and Dave Winer and now read by thousands of programmers and managers. To call him a former paratrooper would be accurate but misleading. He served in the Israeli army and co-founded a kibbutz, but he didn't jump out of airplanes, he was pushed.

Joel and his family bought the first IBM PC in Israel, and when he moved back to the U.S. and completed college, he went to work on Microsoft's Excel development team, still a strong influence on his opinions on software development.

Doug and Joel discuss extreme programming of which Joel has often been a critic. He makes his case for the importance of formal testing, particularly on large projects, and explains why, "customers don't know what they want." The Joel Test was one of his most-read essays. It's what job applicants should ask at the end of the interview to evaluate prospective employers.

And Joel has plenty to say about Microsoft: the impact of the cast-in-stone file formats for Word and Excel, the split between the so-called Raymond Chen and MSDN Magazine camps, why some developers may not move to Avalon/XAML/WinFX, and what will happen to Win32.

An entertaining oportunity to get to know one of today's most influential developer/authors.

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