I was thinking a little while back about the value of software on top of silicon. This blog is the result. I love to tell stories, and this is a chance for me to share insight and the occasional story. So why this?
Once upon a time I wrote some “how to” documentation on an application framework. I had my alpha tester team of eager engineers reading the chapters as I produced them. They provided invaluable feedback on what worked and what was confusing. On an especially difficult chapter I got this back: “This is the third time I have tried to figure this out. When I was done with your chapter I thought ‘How did I ever not know this?’” That’s what drives me.
As we talk about high level software design concepts, or low-level technical details, I want your reaction to be precisely that. How did I ever not know this? Most of the time it won’t be that earth-shaking, but I’ll try to keep it that good.
So, who am I? As noted, my happy place is sharing what I know. Hand in glove with that, I like to learn. I get to do a lot of that here at Cypress, now an Infineon Technologies company. We have some very neat ideas around here.
I’ve focused on software tools for about 30 years. I created training for Apple’s Developer University, in a couple of things you might have heard of. One of them is still around, drag-and-drop – yes there was a time when we had to type commands to move files. I wrote the book on how to program a Mac. (Thoroughly obsolete. Still available on Amazon. Don’t buy it unless you need a doorstop.) I worked for myself, for a couple of small developer tools companies, and two or three giant corporations. I’ve been a contractor, individual contributor, and senior manager. So I’ve been around the world, literally and figuratively, in a lot of roles. Along the way, I helped bring software to cell phones, helped redesign an IDE, supported tools, trained engineers all over the planet, and handled developer relations globally.
I think most of us share the same love for technology and innovation. The reason is clear. We invent the new world. Without software developers, it doesn’t happen. We can’t do it without silicon somewhere along the way. But I’m a software person. More precisely, I’m a tools person. I don’t build cathedrals. I want to give you the tools you need to build them. Back in the day the artisans did this with stone.
Medieval Compilers (aka Stone Chisels)
Image from Worthpoint Auction House: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/stone-mason-carving-tools-masonry-1840335764
Today we do it with electrons. This blog is all about the tools and the enablement software you can use to build whatever you dream. Or in most cases (let’s be honest) build what the boss asks you to build. It’s never easy, it’s never perfect, and it’s never done. Which means I’m not going to run out of things to write about.
With luck, some of my astute colleagues will add their thoughts on topics of specific technical interest in the realm of software on silicon. So I hope you come along for the ride. I’ll try to make it fun and worth your while.
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