Alex Miller lives in St. Louis. He writes code for a living and currently work for Terracotta Tech on the Terracotta open-source Java clustering product. Prior to Terracotta he worked at BEA Systems and was Chief Architect at MetaMatrix. His main language for the last decade has been Java, although Alex have been paid to program in several languages over the years (C++, Python, Pascal, etc). Alex has posted 43 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Have you failed recently?

10.15.2008
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I can think of several things we’ve tried recently at Terracotta that failed, either in the small due to implementation or in the large due to it just being a bad idea. I see this failure as spectacular success!

Innovation does not occur without regular doses of FAIL. Innovation means walking back and forth over the edge of the known probing new places to go. Sometimes you fall off. But when you don’t, you find great things.

I get worried when we’re not failing. When everything works out just like we hoped, we’re not pushing hard enough. For an innovative software company, safe is dead. I want people to be trying crazy shit that will never work, cause holy crap what if 1 in 10 actually does? The key is to have an environment where innovation is encouraged required and to expect that innovation means that some healthy percentage of things we try don’t work out. That has to be understood throughout the company as the flip side of the innovation coin.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve hired a bunch of insanely smart and capable engineers and things feel like they’re bursting at the seams right now. It’s awesome. And terrifying. I love it. We’re all getting together next week for a full week of intense crazy stuff and the energy level should be high.

From: http://tech.puredanger.com/

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Alex Miller.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Derek Smith replied on Thu, 2008/10/16 - 7:12am

Hey, are you still hiring? I would love to work at a company with that type of mindset.

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