Behind the Scenes on Apple’s Aperture Team

20-year Apple veteran Chris “cricket” Hynes, on the origins of Aperture. Just an amazing and rare perspective on how things work — or last worked, past tense — inside Apple. The whole thing is just enthralling, but I’ll share a few nuggets:

I want to inject more levity into this interlude. Randy was always hilarious when he went on a rant. One of my favourites was when he ranted about flowcharts. He despised them. He went so far as to saying that anyone that makes a flowchart should be fired. We all thought it was funny!

The other rant was when we brought in some guy to write the red-eye filter. Since everyone was so busy, they just let him loose. It worked reasonably well when finished. But Randy discovered C++ code, despite the entire project being in Objective-C. Again, he went on a massive rant about how stupid that was, and Apple should fire anyone that writes C++ code. I somewhat agree.


One of my favourite stories involves an unnamed engineer that joined the team as one of the 130+ borrowed engineers. He was arrogant and was very vocal that every engineer on the original team sucked. At that point, I was running the bug review meetings. He’d stand in the back. When a bug came on screen, his typical response was ‘That code is shit, it needs to be rewritten’.

One day, a bug he wrote came up on the screen. Everyone in the room was scratching their heads about his poorly written bug. It was vague, rambling, and incoherent. So I said ‘this bug is shit, it needs to be rewritten’. Everyone in the room laughed but him. He seemed to redden.

Also, a few anecdotes about long-ago little birdie leaks to yours truly.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020