When I drive to and fro Bay Area, I listen to the audio book Albert Einstein biography be Walter Isaacson, the same author as Steve Jobs biography. According to Isaacson
There are many creative scientists... In the world of technology, Steve Jobs has the same creative imagination and ability to think differently that distinguished Einstein, and Bill Gates has the same intellectual intensity. I wish I knew politicians who had the creativity and human instincts of Einstein.I know and respect scientists and engineers (I am on of them myself), but working with them to make something other people really need is quite an experience. Rather than seeing them as programmers (they are much more than that) I discovered the best is to look at them as researchers who have needs. The researchers themselves are the customers. Some researchers are more than customers: they are budding potential entrepreneurs, waiting for an opportunity to unleash themselves.
In addition to focusing on their original, often extraordinary technology, we ask "who will need this?" About 20% of the answers might be "I don't care" . But about 80% of them do care.
After Mr. Romney said he will close or sell PBS , everything is possible. Even if he lost the election, there is a possibility to see cuts in science programs and many scientists may loose their jobs. So the #1 need for the researchers working in USA is to be employable even if the Federal Government cuts its budget. While we hope the science grants will keep flowing, we should be prepared for contrary. As Mr. Isaacson warns us "I wish I knew politicians who had the creativity and human instincts of Einstein."
Open source programs must contemplate also about who needs what they make. Their success must be judged on how many people can make a living from this ethereal ideal of freedom. Somebody has to feed the volunteer developers themselves. The open source programs must also create employment for the users and sysadmins. Sometime, someone needs to pay for it
Finally we must think about helping the disabled who are now the largest unemployment rate . Here are a couple of tweets that illustrate this issue:
#cloud #grid #enterprise sw. ease of use test: Can you teach 3 Highly Functional Autistic sysadmins to use it? Yes, passes. No, fails
iPad and Windows computers are successfully operated by disabled population, because they visualize best
#cloud I have not have seen a cloud software easy to operate. Have you? http://bit.ly/TvBvWE
If we look well in the mirror we all have some minimal traces of autism. This is why, I would test any software for ease of use with HFA programmers or students. If they understand, we all will understand
P. S. See my blogs on customer discovery, Grid Engine , Bosco. See also Why HPC TOP500 never made any money and never will in its' present shape