Joel on Software

Painless Software Management

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HASH: a free, online platform for modeling the world

Sometimes when you’re trying to figure out the way the world works, basic math is enough to get you going. If we increase the hot water flow by x, the temperature of the mixture goes up by y. Sometimes you’re working on something that’s just too complicated for that, and you can’t even begin to guess how the inputs affect the outputs. At the...

So, how’s that retirement thing going, anyway?

For the last couple of months, Prashanth Chandrasekar has been getting settled in as the new CEO of Stack Overflow. I’m still going on some customer calls and have a weekly meeting with him, but I have freed up a lot of time. I’m also really enjoying discovering just how little I knew about running medium-sized companies, as I watch Prashanth rearrange...

Welcome, Prashanth!

Last March, I shared that we were starting to look for a new CEO for Stack Overflow. We were looking for that rare combination of someone who could foster the community while accelerating the growth of our businesses, especially Teams, where we are starting to close many huge deals and becoming a hyper-growth enterprise software company very quickly....

The next CEO of Stack Overflow

Big news! We’re looking for a new CEO for Stack Overflow. I’m stepping out of the day-to-day and up to the role of Chairman of the Board. Stack Overflow has been around for more than a decade. As I look back, it’s really amazing how far it has come.   Only six months after we had launched Stack Overflow, my co-founder Jeff Atwood and I...

Announcing Stack Overflow for Teams

Hey, we have a new thing for you today! Today’s new thing is called Stack Overflow for Teams. It lets you set up a private place on Stack Overflow where you can ask questions that will only be visible to members of your team, company, or organization. It is a paid service, but it’s not expensive. I meet people who use Stack Overflow every single day,...

Strange and maddening rules

There’s this popular idea among developers that when you face a problem with code, you should get out a rubber duck and explain, to the duck, exactly how your code was supposed to work, line by line, what you expected to see, what you saw instead, etc. Developers who try this report that the very act of explaining the problem in detail to an inanimate...

A Dusting of Gamification

[This is the second in a series of posts about Stack Overflow. The first one is The Stack Overflow Age.] Around 2010 the success of Stack Overflow had led us into some conversations with VCs, who wanted to invest. The firm that eventually invested in us, Union Square Ventures, told us that they were so excited by the power of gamification that they...

The Stack Overflow Age

Hi, everyone! A lot of stuff has happened since I was writing all those blog posts about Aeron chairs 18 years ago. Some of those blog posts are old enough to go to college. And, also: Stack Overflow will be ten years old soon! Wow! So I thought it would be cool to get the old band back together for a little reunion tour over the next few weeks. I...

Birdcage liners

My new year’s resolution was to give up on reading Twitter and Facebook. I gave up on the feeds because they were making me angry. A lot of times I was angry because of politics, but even on non-political things, the feeds seemed like they were full of conflict and stress. I can’t tell you how much happier I am without them. Am I the only one that...

Developers’ side projects

Pretty much 100% of developers working for other people end up signing some kind of “proprietary invention agreement,” but almost all of them misunderstand what’s going on with that agreement. Most developers think that the work they do at work belongs to their employer, but anything they work on at home or on their own time is theirs. This is wrong...

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