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The new VP of engineering at Linden Lab


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2 hours ago, animats said:

A real question is, will he have enough clout within LL to get sufficient resources to do anything with SL?

Here are the current Linden Lab job ads. 7 for Tilia, 2 in accounting, 2 customer support people for SL. That's why nothing gets fixed.

Hopefully the Wulf of Battery Street isn't filling jobs for Tillia before he splits it off from SL and sells the "baggage", heh.

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11 hours ago, animats said:

A real question is, will he have enough clout within LL to get sufficient resources to do anything with SL?

Here are the current Linden Lab job ads. 7 for Tilia, 2 in accounting, 2 customer support people for SL. That's why nothing gets fixed.

 

I took a peek at the accounting positions since that is my field. I can see why those positions remain unfilled.  The requirements are way over the top. There are lots of people out there who not only have the knowledge, they have the experience (and beyond) but they have no degree. There are also those of us who can keep books with pen and paper if need be and we don't have a degree. Most of the ones you find in those kinds of positions now (younger people) have no clue how to start a set of books, much less how to track down that $00.01 that keeps throwing it out of balance. That is why they would call me when I used to work tech support for Intuit QuickBooks.

I've been watching companies shoot themselves in the foot in this regard for so long all I do now is shake my head when I see it and move on because no one ever listens. They only hear what they want to hear.

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I am completely happy that this fellow has chosen the name "Mojo" which is just as cool as "Oz" and conveys the magic that you need to perform to do this game/world.

It's too early to expect a bear, but make a note to get one! I'm going to send him some of those tingly magic music sound files. 

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15 hours ago, animats said:

A real question is, will he have enough clout within LL to get sufficient resources to do anything with SL?

Here are the current Linden Lab job ads. 7 for Tilia, 2 in accounting, 2 customer support people for SL. That's why nothing gets fixed.

Mojo needs to concentrate on fixing search/places.

The presence of these vacancies is NOT why "nothing" gets fixed. Things get fixed every day. They just don't fix the thing you need.

I think nine months without search fixed -- presumably a server-side problem -- is something that needs the new VP of Engineering, and only he. Will he be kept busy instead holding the hands of third party devs? Fixing avatar foot shadows? Tracking Infinitely Distant Stars? Let him read the past program notes to understand what an enormous, well -- let him read it. And let him change that dynamic.

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17 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

The real question .. will he have a living avatar that's constantly evolving though involvement and engagement with the platform, or will he just have an avatar.

He can not change his avatar for 18 years like Guy Linden, for all I care. As long as he does the job efficiently and politely like Guy Linden, that's all that matters. If he is wasting time trying to do mesh heads and BOMs with his fabulous clothing, he's not doing his job.

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10 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

 

I took a peek at the accounting positions since that is my field. I can see why those positions remain unfilled.  The requirements are way over the top. There are lots of people out there who not only have the knowledge, they have the experience (and beyond) but they have no degree. There are also those of us who can keep books with pen and paper if need be and we don't have a degree. Most of the ones you find in those kinds of positions now (younger people) have no clue how to start a set of books, much less how to track down that $00.01 that keeps throwing it out of balance. That is why they would call me when I used to work tech support for Intuit QuickBooks.

I've been watching companies shoot themselves in the foot in this regard for so long all I do now is shake my head when I see it and move on because no one ever listens. They only hear what they want to hear.

The same can be said for all positions, even for QA grunts.

5+ years prior experience and knowledge in programs you won't ever use.

IMO, a significant requirement needs to be actual platform familiarization/usage with demonstration on such.

We still get far too many staffers that have never used the platform until the day they get a call asking them to come in for an interview for that position at the bottom of their dream job list and they rush to "study" to figure WTH this "SL thing" was even about. "Oh, right! Avatars having sex or something!"

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just noticed they filled this position, excellent!  Not that I know anything about Mr. Kertesz, but  I view ANY hire for SL (instead of Tilia) as a plus, nowadays. 

His inworld avatar was created 7/26, but LL hasn't announced the hire in any way as yet.  Hope all's going well.  

So in lieu of info from LL, I found his previous employers' (Level Ex's) blurb when they hired him a little over a year ago, as a principal engineer.  A positively floral degree of excitement: http://www.levelex.com/blog/level-ex-welcomes-andrew-kertesz-principal-software-engineer

I don't see why anyone is thinking he bombed out at Level Ex.  It's an exciting company that I'm sure is a lot of fun, and it has a wonderful mission.  But "Principal Engineer" is a much smaller job than "VP Engineering".  I think it's a great opportunity for him:  I bet it wouldn't be all THAT hard to make a significant contribution to SL, there's a lot of low-hanging fruit.  But ... if he doesn't have successes, he fails in his first VP-level position.  Stakes are high.  Good luck, Mr. Kertesz, and welcome aboard!

"Mojo" is a great Linden name.  I hope you fill out your inworld profile and dip your toes into the forum waters soon, newborn leader :)

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I'd very much like to see him at the TPV meetings in world, I'm sure his gaming background and how that fits with the direction of SL going forward would be a very interesting discussion, especially with how the SL viewer is developed as open source (games typically are not).

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3 hours ago, Nika Talaj said:

His inworld avatar was created 7/26, but LL hasn't announced the hire in any way as yet.  Hope all's going well.

He is listed in the https://www.lindenlab.com/about since middle of August, and said his start date was August 1st.  Vacation time is over.  Waiting for the softball youtube interview, and an official announcement for us lowly Residents.

 

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Nothing, absolutely nothing, that comes from or via Microsoft can be in any way even remotely good.

Microsoft is a poison stain on the fabric of the Universe.

There is only one hope, that he learned there how NOT to do things.  But heck he was there longer than a month and didn't learn it.

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8 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

I'd very much like to see him at the TPV meetings in world, I'm sure his gaming background and how that fits with the direction of SL going forward would be a very interesting discussion, especially with how the SL viewer is developed as open source (games typically are not).

I like your optimism, however I think you will find that nothing will change or would be worse. This isn't the first time we have had someone high up with a gaming background and that earlier person was the head of LL and far more experienced in gaming than this new VP of Eng.

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/me muses.

What constitutes success for a new VP Eng at LL?  Let's say he pulls off an amazing engineering feat, something like bringing on new system architect(s) who perform a miracle of cloud engineering which dramatically lowers LL's cost of operation.  Certainly something of that magnitude would be A Success, but is it enough to propel him forward in his career?

I doubt it.  I think he also needs to make a tangible impact on SL's overall success.  And that is a much more subtle goal - achieving it entails developing an understanding of SL's user base, and how you really grow it.  For example, let's say our new VP can see a way to bring a new type of user to SL - say he can parlay his recent exposure to gaming for medical professionals into a new area of partnership and game development in SL.  The type of immersion common in SL, powerful even without 3D, could be helpful.  Wonderful!  A successful program is launched, bringing a little wave of medical professionals in the full flush of their careers to SL.

But will those people stick?  Or is that even a relevant question - is SL now propelled more by a flow of temporary users from new short-term partnerships, come to have a particular experience, or by its core of LONG-time residents?  Ebbe and Patch shared a gut feeling for how to appeal to the type of user who sticks.  Altho woefully lacking data, MY gut feel says that SL has benefited tangibly from their efforts to lure a more widely dispersed target market, the type of person who "sticks".

/me muses on these matters.  On the disproportionate number of RL librarians and engineers she's encountered in SL.  On the passionate SL creators she knows who have never been able to gratify their urges to dance or DJ or throw big events in RL.  On how long-lived certain communities of those people, who have formed bonds that span RL geographies, have been.  Over 12 years, some of these groups.

Dreams ...dreams ... dreams.  What is Bellisseria but the best embodiment of SL's long promise of being a dreamier place to live than you can find in RL? 

The driver of SL's longevity has been wish fulfillment.  Be beautiful, have beautiful friends, live a beautiful life.  Does one propel SL forward by getting better and better at wish fulfillment, or by deepening ties to RL communities?

/me shakes herself and abruptly stops musing.  Did someone ask for these thots?  No.  Is it my problem?  No.

/me steps away.

Edited by Nika Talaj
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4 hours ago, Nika Talaj said:

/me muses.

What constitutes success for a new VP Eng at LL?  Let's say he pulls off an amazing engineering feat, something like bringing on new system architect(s) who perform a miracle of cloud engineering which dramatically lowers LL's cost of operation.  Certainly something of that magnitude would be A Success, but is it enough to propel him forward in his career?

I doubt it.  I think he also needs to make a tangible impact on SL's overall success.  And that is a much more subtle goal - achieving it entails developing an understanding of SL's user base, and how you really grow it.  For example, let's say our new VP can see a way to bring a new type of user to SL - say he can parlay his recent exposure to gaming for medical professionals into a new area of partnership and game development in SL.  The type of immersion common in SL, powerful even without 3D, could be helpful.  Wonderful!  A successful program is launched, bringing a little wave of medical professionals in the full flush of their careers to SL.

But will those people stick?  Or is that even a relevant question - is SL now propelled more by a flow of temporary users from new short-term partnerships, come to have a particular experience, or by its core of LONG-time residents?  Ebbe and Patch shared a gut feeling for how to appeal to the type of user who sticks.  Altho woefully lacking data, MY gut feel says that SL has benefited tangibly from their efforts to lure a more widely dispersed target market, the type of person who "sticks".

/me muses on these matters.  On the disproportionate number of RL librarians and engineers she's encountered in SL.  On the passionate SL creators she knows who have never been able to gratify their urges to dance or DJ or throw big events in RL.  On how long-lived certain communities of those people, who have formed bonds that span RL geographies, have been.  Over 12 years, some of these groups.

Dreams ...dreams ... dreams.  What is Bellisseria but the best embodiment of SL's long promise of being a dreamier place to live than you can find in RL? 

The driver of SL's longevity has been wish fulfillment.  Be beautiful, have beautiful friends, live a beautiful life.  Does one propel SL forward by getting better and better at wish fulfillment, or by deepening ties to RL communities?

/me shakes herself and abruptly stops musing.  Did someone ask for these thots?  No.  Is it my problem?  No.

/me steps away.

I think this is all wishful thinking or hope, which is all of us can do and have been doing for years now.

No single VP of Engineering is going to turn around years of management incompetence, especially when those people still occupy key decision making positions.

To attract new users and maintain interest from recent users, LL simply needs to go back to their roots and focus on offering competitive content creation tools.

Will they do that? No. They are using Sansar's failure as an excuse for all the wrong reasons. It wasn't features that caused Sansar to fail. It was not following that platform's own mantra of "We listened to you!" and instead, practicing the time dishonored tradition of "Linden Knows Best".

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17 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

 "Linden Knows Best".

Arty experiences, exhibits, bizness, high brow bs and eventually though much gnashing of teeth, clubs and live events ... missing the basic point of why people even attend any of these things virtually.

Thing is, we all knew it was doomed on first sight. It was painfully obvious, and in all the subsequent development, none of the key points were addressed.

Given the freedom to do anything, why do people choose to do something? FOR FUN.

Is wandering a virtual exhibit alone or watching your toon flap around in a club SUFFICIENT FUN to make a successful platform? Hell no.

Everything becomes FUN at the intersection of the activity and a reward, in a virtual world that reward is SOCIAL INTERACTION.

Come see my _____. Lets go _____. Hey I like your _____. Would you like to _____? Have you _____? We should play _____.

It was deeply ironic that Ready Player One overlapped with Sansar, how the name Sucksar didn't stick is a mystery .. oh no, I know why it didn't, there was no community for it to stick with because no one cared.

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3 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

in a virtual world that reward is SOCIAL INTERACTION.

Yes.

Now that provides a focus for engineering effort. Especially because most of the new virtual worlds are doing better at social, even though they can't do the big-world thing or the user-creation thing as well.

It's pretty clear what needs to be fixed for social to work. Everything on this list has been discussed to death.

  • The group messaging system breaks down for large groups. Fix.
  • Voice chat. The other leading 3D social worlds are going to better voice chat with smart spatial audio. VIVOX has trouble staying connected.
  • Text chat which works and looks more like Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. SL predates the industry conventions for this.
  • Voice to text, text to voice, and machine translation.
  • Camera control that never leaves you looking at the back of a chair or wall.
  • Facial expressions that follow voice, and maybe head tracking, so YouTubers and influencers can make good videos that aren't b-o-r-i-n-g.
  • Figure out some way to avoid the "group standing in a circle not moving or talking" cliche. Huge turn-off to new users. Makes SL look dead.
  • Groups should be able to travel together through the world without people being Left Behind at region crossings. Travel for one person mostly works for an hour at a time, but groups on a boat will come unglued within minutes.
  • All this needs to Just Work without fooling with top-bar menus.

How to convince management of this? Standard user interface testing. You pay non-SL users to spend a few hours logging into SL, going through the tutorial, and then doing a few simple social tasks. Go to a club and talk to somebody. Go dancing.  Go to a short talk on something and ask a question. Go shopping with someone, buy a clothing item, and wear it. Take a short road or boat trip with somebody. While they're doing this, take video of both the user and the screen. Then, someone goes through the videos (good psych intern job) and notes the points where someone failed at a task, got frustrated, got angry, or gave up. Make up a highlights reel. Show it to management and devs. Optionally, do the same thing for some of the competition and compare.

Edited by animats
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Second Life is a complex instrument.  I fear making it easy for the uninitiated to use will bury or remove functions many of us are currently using.

Second Life Viewer currently has a menu scoping filter.  Would modifying that to allow menu item exposure control by some parameter be useful to new users in any way?

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45 minutes ago, animats said:

Now that provides a focus for engineering effort. Especially because most of the new virtual worlds are doing better at social, even though they can't do the big-world thing or the user-creation thing as well.

I would also add, there needs to be some exploration of other platforms and games (especially), with specific focus on the common design language.

Simple examples

  • Pressing E interacts with an object in everything. In SL .. you jump. Saying users can (after 18 years) remap keys misses the entire point.
  • SL has top menus .. like a word processor. 
  • The menus are so bad we now have a text field to search the menus. OMG.
  • Every new user has a hot mic by default. They unknowingly broadcast all sound .. WHY?!
  • How is the default camera set up, why is ours focused above the avatar's head?
  • Why is dragging the mouse the default way to move like this is a touchscreen app, this isn't an app and nothing else is set up for touch input.

This stuff is stupidly easy to overlook, but being different is as good as being wrong and seriously hinders new users forcing them to relearn everything.

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