5 Easy Questions for Randall Hyde

On this blog I have published interviews with Steve McConnell, Johanna Rothman, Alistair Cockburn, Scott Berkun, Mary Poppendieck, Grady Booch and several others. Everytime I ask the same five questions, and everytime I am pleasantly surprised by the answers I get.

Randall Hyde is the author of Writing Great Code: Understanding the Machine, listed at #51 on the Top 100 Best Software Engineering Books, Ever. Randall Hyde was educated at, and became a lecturer at, the University of California at Riverside. His area of specialization is compilers and other system software, and he has written compilers, assemblers, operating systems and control software.

These are the five questions I asked Randall, and the answers that he gave me…

1. What has been the toughest challenge in your past?

Preventing management/clients from insisting that work can be done in far less time than experience and research suggests. All too often I will carefully consider as many factors as possible, come up with a time frame of "x" hours, and then have someone insist that it can be done in "x / y" hours (y>2).

2. What is the main source of inspiration for what you do?


3. What activity should be on every manager's daily list?

Ensuring that engineers are focused on the task(s) at hand. Making sure they are involved in side trips or irrelevant endeavors. Also, making sure engineers are moving forward and understanding the problems if they are stuck on something.

4. What can we learn from you in the near future?

Good question. I'm currently working on a book on Reverse Engineering/disassembly.

5. What is more interesting than software development?

Right now I've got a company that's doing pro audio and lighting for concerts and other productions. Can't really say that it's more interesting than software engineering, but it's a lot of fun.

Well, these are the answers given by Randall Hyde. I hope you liked them!

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