The 90 Percent Trap

Surviving the Best Day of our Careers

by Kevin Morris

The VP was obviously impressed. In fact, “blown away” wouldn’t have been overstating it. The demo had gone perfectly, and even when he’d asked questions that took us off script, we were able to show what he wanted to see. His excitement was palpable. I knew before he walked out the door that we’d get what we wanted.


Our little team, made up of some of the most talented software engineers I’d ever met, had been working 12-14 hours per day for the past two weeks to get this demo ready. In reality, a lot of it was smoke and mirrors. We’d cobbled together TCL scripts to fill in holes in our system where development hadn’t even been started yet. There were some places where the “values” that showed in the GUI were hard-coded. But, behind the scenes, the engine was actually running and doing its job. Databases were being written and read. Actual output files were being generated. It was REAL.

Or, probably, at least 90% real.  Read More

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March 20, 2017

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Editors' Blog

Why You Should Whitelist in Your Ad Blocker

posted by Kevin Morris

We understand why many people have turned to ad blockers these days. With the proliferation of websites that create miserable browsing experiences, we’re sometimes tempted to install blockers ourselves.

However, we’d like you to please consider whitelisting if you use an ad blocker. (23-Mar)

An Interesting – And Challenging – Take on Tech

posted by Bryon Moyer

I ran across a series that deals with some of the less-touted possible outcomes of the technology work we do. It’s actually a few years old, but, while edgy and possibly challenging for some to watch, I also found it thought-provoking. (1-Feb)

Fear and Trepidation at Intel

posted by Bryon Moyer

Why was this last round of layoffs so much more… traumatic than past ones? (28-Aug)

Reviewing the $10,000 Ethernet Cable

posted by Kevin Morris

The people who buy this cable know why they need it, and it's well worth the extra investment. "Sure," some may say, "it's just data," but the ones and zeros that arrive at the end of this cable completely transcend binarity. (10-Feb)

Drawings as Cartoons?

posted by Bryon Moyer

Somehow the notion of “cartoon” has been imported into engineering. But, given the meaning of the word, why would we do that? (23-Jan)

Career Editors' Blog Archive



EUV as Pizza

Posted on 03/27/17 at 10:37 AM by bmoyer

What do you think about the EUV progress made over the last year?

Ongoing Sensor Work

Posted on 03/23/17 at 12:13 PM by bmoyer

What do you think about the improvements being made to these sensors?

Is Exactly-Once Delivery Possible with MQTT?

Posted on 03/20/17 at 11:42 AM by dborisov

Thank you for great article! It really helps to understand QoS levels nuances!

Could you please describe does MQTT somehow specify what should happen if PUBCOMP missed in case of QoS 2?

I mean if receiver has sent PUBCOMP but ACK tcp packet missed a…

An Old Cantilever Is New Again

Posted on 03/20/17 at 11:09 AM by bmoyer

What do you think of Menlo Micro's approach to RF and power (and other) switches?

Radio FPGA!

Posted on 03/20/17 at 4:01 AM by steverino

I would be curious as to whether Xilinx has made arrangements with third party vendors to have chip antennas ready to go with these parts.

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