12:01 PM

Does Silicon Valley R-e-s-p-e-c-t Its Engineers? Top Firms Shun Engineering Legends


The engineering and design teams that built the first Macintosh computer pose for a photo.

Saturday evening at the Flint Center in Cupertino there was a marvelous celebration of the pioneering work of the engineering hardware and software teams that built the first Apple Macintosh launched 30 years ago.

This was most definitely not an official Apple event. Its purpose was to focus on the engineers that built a truly ground breaking computer, the first mainstream computer with a graphical user interface. 

I was surprised there wasn’t 10,000 people waiting to get in. Many will line up for three days to get an iPhone, and here in the flesh, are some of the legendary engineers of Silicon Valley. 

But I didn’t see Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page or Sergey Brin; or Jack Dorsey. Were there any heads of engineering there from some of the big tech companies? It would have been very humble of them to be in audience and pay their respects to these veteran engineers and show their respect for the enduring engineering culture of Silicon Valley.

So why weren’t they there, or at least some of their top engineering execs?  It would be great for recruitment to show that your engineering culture is so strong that it humbly recognizes the talent in others, and their elders. Great engineering transcends products and companies.

It was focused on an Apple product but it wasn’t an Apple event so there is no excuse that it’s supporting a competitor. It was a grass-roots organized evening celebrating extraordinary engineering talent so why was it so badly supported by the Silicon Valley royalty?

They constantly say how much they value their engineers. They feed them for free, and take care of their every cleaning and laundry needs, to show them they are very special.

I spoke to some people at the event and some said that it wasn’t well publicized. Well, they could have Googled it, and are they saying Zuckerberg is not in the right social circles to know about it?

I thought it showed a serious lack of respect for 30 years of Silicon Valley engineering talent. Silicon Valley is unsentimental and unaware of itself.