June 25, 2014

BeMyApp and friends: 0 % hack, 100 % bullshit

Back after many months NOT blogging, which isn’t really what I had in mind when I put started building this website. I’ve got a ton of projects pending, and can’t find the right work-socialize-build-sleep balance. :P

Anyway, I’m back in business with this (hater?) post.

As you might not know, I attended HackAXA this past January, a hackathon organized by BeMyApp in collaboration with Salesforce and AXA France. ‘Twas a very interesting experience that taught me a lot about french companies and their view on software.

Least to say is that companies are making a lot of money having hackers give them ideas.

More generally, I also had a very interesting discussion with a BI freelance last week-end. We agreed on the following views of the current state of mind in french software companies:

  1. Presentation is everything: if your software looks good, I can conclude that it’s wonderful and suits our needs. What do you mean there’s no back-end? Isn’t the front-end the hardest thing to get working?
  2. Keywords are the shit. Use as many as you can possibly put that have something to do with what you’re talking about. That way no one will understand you and you’ll stay on top.
  3. Arrive before 9:30 AM and leave after 5:30 PM, you can’t possibly be productive if you aren’t on the same schedule as everyone else. Oh and you don’t really need to work during these hours, you can take your coffee/cigarette break every hour if you don’t feel like it. Or you can check Facebook on your phone, that’s ok.

I personally find these points ridiculous and counter-intuitive:

  1. Presentation is only presentation, in software you should be able to easily switch presentations for the same app.
  2. Isn’t a company supposed to work together, and help each other? Teacher skills, anyone?
  3. I get that people need to be available on the phone for their coworkers/clients, but don’t we have mobile phones for that? Also, obligation de moyens is a very french concept: don’t work to give results, work to show everyone that you are working! Really, this just encourages laziness.