First we talk about his project in Afghanistan. Although he can’t go into great detail, he tells us a little of what he is up to. He started work on a small team that is working with a division of the US State Department called The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law (The INL).
The project is essentially an IT project, but it is also a humanitarian endeavor. The issues really boil down to typical computer programming stuff: it is a system that has bugs in it. It was built by a somewhat inexperienced team without much direction which has resulted in a lot of issues they need to sort out.
They are not coding from scratch, there is an existing system which they are iterating on. It’s a little scary he says! It’s probably one of the hardest parts of the project: the political dynamic. The system exists and it works so some people are happy with it, but it isn’t serving all the needs it needs to serve so they are trying to make it better for everyone.
We next talk about why software is more like the organic world versus the mechanical world, before we dive into his Hacker News article. Personally I have submitted my article many times and have received a maximum of four points. So what happened for him? How did his article get published by them? Aaron says it is bizarre what happened!
He had made the decision to leave Culture Foundry and he wanted to work on longer term projects (the Afghanistan project being an example) and get out of the marketing cycle and into longer-term product development.
He looked at his blog, saw how old his content was and decided he needed to update it. He wanted to give recruiters something to talk about when they contacted him so he sat down and thought about what he wanted to write. He had a brain dump of sorts and put some thoughts out there.
A few months later, he got a call from an old colleague congratulating him on his article at the top of Hacker News. Aaron was shocked! He hadn’t submitted anything to the site and had no idea how his article got there. It turns out someone he knows came across the article and it resonated so much this person passed it on to Hacker News.
We dig into the details on what the article is actually about and what it is that struck such a chord with people. Join us to hear all of that and more on this edition of CTO Studio.