David Sobeski explains how Microsoft torpedoed 3rd party devs so often that they became irrelevant. He starts by describing how good Microsoft were at compatibility, and then talks about how everything changed. Joel Spolsky was completely right.
So if you keep rewriting your developer APIs, you end up ensuring that no developer will touch you with a bargepole. Its easy to imagine that as the rise of Microsoft was Billg time and the fall was Balmar that its about leadership from the top. But I find the argument that it was the Microsoft devs themselves quite compelling: Rick LaPlante says:
I spent 19 years in the developer division, starting with the C5.1 compiler through the .NETification of the developer experience. David is not far off. … It wasn’t really management that said “lets go break everything”, it was mid to senior level engineers/architects that disregarded everything we’d built in the past.
At Symbian/UIQ I poured far too much of my soul into trying to get UIQ to evolve not rewrite; I went from architect to product management to try and get the clout needed to level the keel. Now its not like UIQ were ever more than an also-run, but the pain of infighting and the pressure to rewrite because the devs say there is no other way is always too great :(
Devs need to wake up and understand change is bad, however uncool and uninteresting that makes their day jobs.
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