Optimize with a SATA RAID Storage Solution
Range of capacities as low as $1250 per TB. Ideal if you currently rely on servers/disks/JBODs
There’s more to being a code slinger than late nights, coffee, and grey cubicles. In this first installment of The Full Java Life, Matthew Heusser travels to Las Vegas, Nevada, to talk to William Weiss, a veteren Java programmer for Zappos.com. Weiss talks about his career trajectory, life at Zappos, why he's not interested in management, and what Java tools he finds currently most exciting, as well as indispensable.
A few months ago I ran into a video produced by our friends at Oracle called "The Java Life Rap Music Video" (see Resources). The video is funny. It includes standard stereotypes like the geek with the high-water pants and horn-rimmed glasses. One scene is a late-night pizza session where, In the background, we see an old data center with wires everywhere, dimly-lit grey cubicles, Cheetos and Red Bull in the on-site vending machine.
Why is "Java Life" funny? Maybe because it's a little too true. Here's the question, though: is the best thing about living the Java life really getting a Herman Miller Aeron Chair? Is there something wrong with a programmer who is still programming after 10 years or more, rather than switching over to management?
I don't think so, and I hope you don't either.
The Full Java Life is a new JavaWorld series that asks how Java developers really work. What keeps mid-to-senior technical professionals engaged with programming and how do they create lives that escape the cliches of grey cubicles, coffee stains, and geek pride? What inspires young guns to do their best work, and how do they temper and hone themselves into the seasoned programmers their profession needs them to become? How do career programmers break out of the cubicle, or make peace with it? These are some of the questions I'll ask with this series, interviewing one developer at a time to find out what we can learn from each other about living a full Java life.
For this first episode I travelled to Henderson, Nevada, to interview William Weiss, a programmer at Zappos.com.
You know Zappos, it's that little company that grew from startup in 1999 to $1.01 billion in sales in 2008, when it sold to Amazon for 10 million shares of common stock. Today, the company is a wholly owned division of Amazon.com with stock worth around $1.2 billion.
The ethic at Zappos is service, the motto is to deliver happiness. That's also the title of the book by Tony Hsieh, the company's CEO and co-founder. Zappos takes its service ethic seriously, too; the car it sent to pick me up was painted with big white letters promising to "Bring the wow."
The offices at Zappos are actually fun. The environment is freewheeling, and outside of the call center (where someone has to be on the phones at all times) no one watches the clock.
When I asked whom I should interview for this series, Director of Software Development Rick Duggan suggested that I talk to William (Bill) Weiss. According to Duggan, Bill is serious programmer who takes his craft seriously, and has made a personal commitment to Java. Several of Bill's projects have become internal tools that people actually use -- and like. Other programmers go to Bill when they get stuck, and many look up to him.