John Martellaro has an interesting piece up over at The Mac Observer where he lists 10 not so great things about working at Apple. Martellaro himself spent 5 years working at Cupertino from 2000 to 2005. One of the more interesting items on the list has to do with Apple’s apparent lack of desire to reach the pinnacle of “technical excellence.”
Apple never seems to be able to scale the heights of the highest levels of technical excellence in certain technical areas, system security, high performance networking and system performance, because it’s a consumer oriented company, not IBM who caters to scientists. (Duh.)
That happens for several reasons: Apple doesn’t generally hire and retain at lot of top-flight Ph.Ds as staff except for the Advanced Computation Group headed by Dr. Richard Crandall. Also, Apple jealously maintains its degrees of freedom to act and, so, tends not to partner deeply with say, U.S. National Laboratories or notable research organizations.
As a result, while Apple builds terrific hardware for consumers, there is always that slight lag behind the very best computational gear, clusters, benchmarks for government procurement, the way IBM and Cray work with National Laboratories, and so on. It’s expected but can be irritating when trying to sell to those groups.
You can check out the full article over here. It’s definitely worth a read.