Hi! I'm Adam Gordon Bell

Shades of Grey Personal Truths

Published almost 1 year ago • 2 min read

Shades of Grey Personal Truths

Hello, CoRecursive newsletter subscriber,

It's March now, and I have a new episode out here:

Shai Almog worked at Sun on Mobile JVMs just as phones started to turn from phones into something else.

Sun had deep expertise in mobile development and unique engineering-driven culture and relationships with manufacturers and operators. And yet internal politics and the collapse of its server market made it hard to get things done.

At Sun, as the mobile market changed, Shai and his friend Chen Fishbein launched a popular UI toolkit. Today Shai shares their struggles at Sun and after it to shape mobile UI development.

Episode Background

Shai reached out to me to talk about his mobile development history because the episode about Android had seemed strange to him. He saw Android more as the lucky naive survivor after all the incumbents had failed to adapt and self-destructed.

I know what feeling like someone's story seems off is like.

I went through this with Don McKay's episode. Don and I worked at the same company, but Don's experience differed significantly from mine. I enjoyed working there, and I remember wing-eating contests, boozy corporate retreats, and a fun sort of frat culture. So I had a hard time when interviewing him to not jump in and say, 'well, but it wasn't all that bad was it.'

But that would have missed the point. Both versions of things can be true. Don's struggles at Inintech were real, and my experience there and the fun times I had were also real. In the same way, Chet's stories of building Andriod are exciting, while to Shai, at the time, they were a new player, playing catch-up while everyone else self-destructed.

And there are a thousand other perspectives out there as well. For example, Shai thought the phones Sun was working on were excellent, but many hated those J2ME devices and found them hard to develop for.

I struggle with what this all means. I'm not ready to say there is no such thing as truth and that everything is all relative. Still, when we start summarizing and recounting things, truth becomes mixed with personal experiences and things that are true to you might not match how others have experienced them.

Part of me wants the world to be more black and white, but the world is richer place because of all shades-of-grey-personal-truths.

Things I've been up to:

Conferences, Launches, youtubes, Oh my

In February, I was in Montreal at ConFoo and gave two talks. I was super nervous about that, but it went alright. Soon I will be at SCALE in Pasadena, talking about building a container runtime.

I also have a video interview I did with Pants creator Benjy up here:

And most importantly, Earthly, my fantastic employer, has launched our CI product, which we've worked on for some time. It's probably not a fit for every build pipeline in the world, but people who've adopted it are seeing much faster and simpler builds.




Hi! I'm Adam Gordon Bell

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