Esther Schindler writes: "Managers and software developers live in two separate worlds. In Hackers and Suits: 10 Tips for Managers to Bridge the Gap Hal Fulton — who you probably know as the author of The Ruby Way — shares his advice to PHBs about how to motivate, communicate with and (maybe) understand these strange people who build the software solutions upon which they rely.
The average hacker has no business sense. He isn't even aware that he lacks one. His world is megabytes and milliseconds, not dollars and cents. He likely has never had a management course—perhaps has never had any kind of business course whatsoever. He evaluates things by their performance and their technical excellence. He may tend to overlook the user; usability and user-friendliness, good online help and good documentation are not usually highest on his list of priorities. Even farther over his horizon is "the bottom line" itself. He is buried so far in the internals that he is unaware of any positive or negative economic impact his actions have.
So here is Tip 1: Remind the developer that technical excellence is no guarantee of success.
jbrodkin writes: "A security vendor that helps protect U.S. military communications has adapted its firewall for use in tanks, Humvees and helicopters to prevent enemies from intercepting IP transmissions on the battlefield.
Rapidly improving warfare technology is utilizing satellite imagery to determine the best tactical moves, and IP communications to relay instructions to soldiers, says Scott Montgomery, vice president of product management for Secure Computing. Protecting these communications is vital, as Israel learned last year when Hezbollah guerillas hacked into radio communications in southern Lebanon, allowing the guerillas to repel tank assaults.
"This kind of real-time battlefield data has unbelievable tactical value to military organizations," Montgomery says. "If you're directing military traffic and saying 'shoot here' and the enemy has access to those communications, they're not going to be there when the rocket lands.""
Hugh Pickens writes: "After the Genesis mission spent 27 months in space gathering tiny samples from different types of solar wind, Hollywood stunt pilots swooped in with a helicopter to catch the falling capsule when it returned to earth. Unfortunately the spacecraft's parachute did not open, and the spacecraft ploughed a hole into the desert. Now scientists are starting to recover data from the salvageable pieces of Genesis. Nature Magazine reports that an analysis of isotopes of neon and argon shows that the elements of main interest to the researchers have the same isotopic signature in the solar wind as in the Sun itself. Because dirt contains relatively little neon and argon, the current Science study wasn't affected too much by contamination and the the team remains hopeful that they will be able to get results on oxygen and nitrogen isotopes from the mission."