Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Boss is Full of Shit

Look! Is this my first EVER mailto link?
How angry are Yahoo employees over Scott Thompson lying on his resume?

Reports are: very.

We're curious. Let us know: nicholas@businessinsider.com or 646 376 6014.

We'll keep you anonymous.
More here, but the gist is that the asshole said he had a computer science degree until last week when a bunch of hedge-fund assholes noticed that his college didn't offer that degree until four years after he graduated; he's really a graduate of an accounting program.

Big whoop as far as CEO scandals go - although he should be fired of course - but if the Yahoo internal reaction is really that pissy about it then I kind of surprised at the amount of credentialism involved, given my own stereotypes about the Silicon Valley tech sector. Mikey knows more about the milieu I'm sure, but I'd imagined that the laborers involved were not really interested in qualifications as such. I mean, by the time your four-year degree is over technology has moved along, and those who can program are out there doing it aren't they? Mind you those guys are easily distinguished from management.

24 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I took one computer course in collage (Intro to BASIC), and then I got a job writing computer programs!

I shoulda lied, maybe I'd be a C.E.O. by now...
~

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

hmpf. I had BASIC, FORTRAN, and a little bit of machine language. Look where that got me.

thndr's right, lying is where it's at.

mikey said...

It's actually kind of weird. Degrees are a BIG deal - in a way. They don't GET you anywhere but they DO count for something. The thing is, EVERYBODY is assumed to have one - that's probably the thing that's saved me. People just can't conceive that anybody else doesn't also have a degree.

And it's not really about WHAT your degree is in - hell, in my experience an accounting degree is every bit as good as a CS degree. The biggest deal is what school issued it - it's just another metric to keep score. It's a thing you have, like a ferrari or a house in Tahoe - it has very little bearing on your career.

Two other points. In Venture funding world, MBAs and Legal degrees MATTER. Everything else is a commodity, another way to take the measure of the people actually doing the work at the new company. But if you want to sit at the table with the VCs themselves, you either better have half a billion dollars or an MBA (or both) - that's the minimum qualifications for entry.

Second, CS degrees do NOT carry much respect. REAL coders have math or science degrees or something weird like history or theology and they're just fucking geniuses. A CS degree might mean that the SysAdmins report to you, but that's about it - your an OPs side guy, and the leadership side of the shop is probably making fun of you over their Palak Paneer and Dal Makhani...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Also: The shit is full of boss.
~

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

in the world where things get built, mikey, MBAs are negligible. Laughable. Poured into foundations.

Wait, did I say that out loud?

mikey said...

Ahem.

Zombie is unfair.

Software is "Things". Software gets built. Web properties get built. Is it harder to build a 300 unit apartment building or a 100 million user web application.

I would suggest Zombie try to understand that "building things" is no longer limited to, nor constrained by, lumber, steel, concrete and glass.

And if Zombie thinks building scalable, functional applications does not qualify as REAL work, perhaps Zombie should do some additional research.

Now. Carry on.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Hold on there a minute, are you two really disagreeing, or just misunderstanding?

I don't think zrm was dissing software...more the actual value of an MBA in the creative process.

I never got an MBA, meself. But here's a college classmate's description of his Wharton MBA:

"Basically they open your head and fill it with shit, then seal it up again."
~

mikey said...

in the world where things get built...

I would be comfortable with that, Thundra, but I'm stuck with this divisive descriptor.

As if in my world things don't get built. Nothing really matters. It isn't real.

Maybe I'm over sensitive, but I don't thing in 2012 you can suggest that building software isn't building real stuff...

Substance McGravitas said...

Speaking only for myself, maybe there's a part of code-writing that's essentially solving puzzles. I appreciate that having to, for instance, comment lines of code scrupulously sounds pretty boring, but actually making a virtual machine work really appeals to a lot of people. So for those blessed people who really like moving variables around - and I think that's a lot of programmers - I don't think it's quite the same as, say, nailing tarpaper to a roof or filling out zoning paperwork.

At the same time, though, computers are still "cool" to me instead of ubiquitous. So maybe what I think of as cool is standard drudgery for teh kidz nowadayz.

Also I hate the very idea of MBAs.

mikey said...

Every club gets to make it's own rules. I've met impressive people with MBAs, and idiots with MBAs. I tend to agree that it is meaningless.

But if the people who own the club say it's a minimum qualification for entry, then that's just the way it is. And c'mon - it's a club a LOT of us want to join...

Substance McGravitas said...

Yeah, I didn't see you endorsing MBAs, I saw a condition being described.

Smut Clyde said...

"Basically they open your head and fill it with shit, then seal it up again."

I can do that.

Smut Clyde said...

Completely OT -- but Ugly Pancake competition here, calling out for Goatse.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

great. Now I've pissed off mikey too.

And he is ARMED....


define 'things' how you want, guys. Jaime Dimon builds NOTHING.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I do get aggravated that Bill Gates insists on calling mimself an 'architect' though....

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

...but in these days, when architects don't do much of anything anyways, I guess we don't hold such a strong claim on the term after all. Carry on.

Jaime Dimon can call himself a 'finance architect'.

mikey said...

Jamie Dimon is an Immiseration Architect.

I'm ok with "DataBase Architect", because that really is what they do. But I fucking HATE "Solution Architect". Almost always just a salesman who has NO idea how his "Solution" actually works.

I'm not pissed - I just thought it was a fun conversation to have. Might have got that one wrong...

Substance McGravitas said...

I think it's an interesting conversation: I think software is product in the same way a building is. The majority of it being trivial though - websites or games or text editors - is less of a burden to the creators: when those fail it's annoying. A bridge or a building have a very different kind of responsibility (and different culture) attached to them. Not that there isn't life-or-death software.

fish said...

Perhaps if you imagine mikey speaking in the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, it would help.

I say, I mean I say, software is things.

fish said...

when those fail it's annoying. A bridge or a building have a very different kind of responsibility

The old Microsoft/GM discussion.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...


I'm not pissed


Notice there is no demurral on the 'armed' portion of my statement.

For once, I find discretion to be the better part of blogging.

mikey said...

Newest toy.

Betcha never saw a shotgun like that.

M. Bouffant said...

a shotgun like that
Yow. Izzat legal in Kali? And what's the recoil like w/ the shot?

M. Bouffant said...

Never mind, watched the vid.