Thursday, October 13, 2011

Google, Amazon, Dog Food, and Loyalty

So there's two things I take out of the Steve Yegge Google rant ( that I had already been thinking about recently.

The first is the idea of the "Platform" and how the Amazon SOA mandate led to the position they stand today. I had no idea they offered so many services, but you can clearly see how each of their offerings has grown from their internal systems being designed as independent hosted components (even down to their payments system). You can see the "Eat your own Dog Food" approach has clearly paid off, as amazon can expose these proprietary systems as consumable services, monetizing them instead of simply consuming them as part of their own needs. This is an extreme example that progressed over the course of years, but it does highlight the capabilities that SOA can offer. If you build for enterprise integration and SOA, your components can become much more than the sum of their parts.

The second concept his post highlighted is the idea of company loyalty, and a love for your work. Steve clearly loves google and has a passion for not only what he does at Google, but what Google does in the broader scheme of things. I think for all the perks that Google offers, this level of loyalty stems from much more than just the money thrown around.

In the past I have worked at a company that I really loved, and while I was paid fairly well, and we had pretty good perks, it was more than this that really made the difference compared to where I am now. We were all treated with respect and acknowledged as key contributors in the company not just a resource, remunerated according to our capabilites, and as a team we all had a passion for what we were doing. This last point is a key item in what made the work environment so outstanding. We felt like we were doing something worthwhile, always pushing each other to improve and grow, and were all happy doing what we were doing.

I miss that high level of motivation from the teams I work with, but I recognise that this was an exceptional workplace and very little will ever compare. Reading the post drove home how great the workplace was.

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