Jon Evans

Jon Evans is a novelist, journalist, and software engineer. His novels have been published around the world, translated into several languages, and praised by The Times, The Economist, and the Washington Post. His journalism has appeared in Wired, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, and The Times of India, and he writes a weekly column for TechCrunch. Jon also has a degree in electrical engineering and a decade of experience as a software developer, building everything from smartphone apps to billion-dollar asset-allocation services.

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  • On Managing Developers Crunch Network

    On Managing Developers

    I’ve been a software developer, a novelist, a journalist, and a manager–and managing developers is easily the trickiest thing I’ve ever done. (Not the hardest. But the trickiest.) I don’t pretend to be an expert, or a great manager. But I can assure you I am someone who screwed up a lot along the road to being better. Here are some mistakes from which I have learned: Read More

  • The War On Crypto Terror Crunch Network

    The War On Crypto Terror

    Governments are scared of software. This month, the Commerce Department proposed to classify “intrusion software” as dual-use civilian/military technology; the UK announced a law which will require “Google, Facebook and other internet giants” to “give British spies access to encrypted conversations”; and the Justice Department claimed APIs should be… Read More

  • The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues Crunch Network

    The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues

    Bitcoin: it’s at a crucially important crossroads; it’s approaching a crisis that threatens its very existence; it has never been more likely to erupt into enormous global importance. Which? Don’t be ridiculous. It is all those things at once, of course, as usual. I only wish I was joking. If you’re dumb enough to judge Bitcoin purely by its exchange rate, you might… Read More

  • After Revolution 2.0 Crunch Network

    After Revolution 2.0

    Remember 2011? The Arab Spring, a.k.a. “Revolution 2.0”? Four governments were overthrown, and the stage was set for further social-media-fuelled protests: Brazil. Ukraine. Turkey. It seems awfully apparent, now, that Facebook and Twitter can serve as a potent catalyst of eruptions of revolutionary fervor– –and equally apparent that that isn’t nearly enough to… Read More

  • Can You Fear Me Now? Crunch Network

    Can You Fear Me Now?

    I write to you from Aqaba, Jordan, a town made famous when conquered by “Lawrence of Arabia” and Faisal al-Hashimi 99 years ago, at a confluence where today four nations divide a mere 25 miles of coastline. So I have travel much on my mind. And it seems to me that the influence of travel on technology has hit another inflection point, and traditional travel companies have much… Read More

  • Death To C Crunch Network

    Death To C

    Ladies and gentlemen, the C programming language. It’s a classic. It is sleek, and spartan, and elegant. (Especially compared to its sequel, that bloated mess C++, which shares all the faults I’m about to describe.) It is blindingly, quicksilver fast, because it’s about as close to the bone of the machine as you can get. It is time-tested and ubiquitous. And it is… Read More

  • We Are All Venture Capitalists Now Crunch Network

    We Are All Venture Capitalists Now

    “I would again draw an analogy to venture capital,” observes Ben Thompson, in a typically incisive Stratechery post eviscerating the new streaming service Tidal. “The importance–and amount–of venture capital has never been greater. The truth is that because so many folks can now get started it is that much harder–and more expensive–to cut through… Read More

  • On The War On General Purpose Computing Crunch Network

    On The War On General Purpose Computing

    The powers that be want to control your phones and your drones. And who can blame them? It was inevitable. Of course they’re upset that smartphones are making it hard to catch speeders. Of course manufacturers are hurrying to ensure that drones refuse to fly to certain locations, before they’re forced to do so by law. Those are the instruments of power in today’s and… Read More

  • Whatever Happened To PaaS? Crunch Network

    Whatever Happened To PaaS?

    In 2009 I discovered Google App Engine and fell in love. Its promise: any software developer could build web apps available to anyone, anywhere, 24/7, without having to worry about server configuration, or database setup, or OS versions, or security patches, or load balancing, or scaling. Automatic scaling! All we had to do was write our code; App Engine would handle everything else. Read More

  • Porn, Sex, Tech, And Cindy Gallop Crunch Network

    Porn, Sex, Tech, And Cindy Gallop

    “Most likely it will be amateur pornographers who make best use of Meerkat’s special features,” observes The Economist drily, ending an analysis of the battle between Meerkat and Periscope. “They have a long history of kick-starting new video technologies.” Indeed. Porn is always at the forefront of technology. But what about sex? Read More

  • A Farewell To Jobs Crunch Network

    A Farewell To Jobs

    Few subjects elicit more skepticism than the so-called “sharing economy.” Kevin Roose argues: “The Sharing Economy Isn’t About Trust, It’s About Desperation.” Catherine Rampell warns: “there’s a dark side to these work arrangements … the shifting of risk off corporate balance sheets and onto the shoulders of individual Americans.” Read More

  • The Terrible Technical Interview Crunch Network

    The Terrible Technical Interview

    Traditional technical interviews are terrible for everyone. They’re a bad way for companies to evaluate candidates. They’re a bad way for candidates to evaluate companies. They waste time and generate stress on both sides. Almost everyone, if pressed, will admit this. And yet they persist. I humbly suggest that it is time for engineers to start to flatly refuse to participate in them. Read More

  • Creeping Towards Hardware As A Service Crunch Network

    Creeping Towards Hardware As A Service

    There seems to be cool new hardware everywhere I look these days. Swimming drones. Crash-proof flying drones. Creepy robots. Kickstarters like Hackaball, “a smart and responsive ball children can program to invent and play their own games.” Startups like Orion Labs, with their Star-Trek-esque Onyx communicator. Read More

  • The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key Crunch Network

    The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key

    Some months ago, the Washington Post waded into the debate about the NSA, pervasive surveillance, and end-to-end encryption with a call for Apple and Google to magically “invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant.” This was met with a chorus of contempt and opprobrium. Read More

  • Beware The Pretty People Crunch Network

    Beware The Pretty People

    The tech industry used to be home to a disproportionate number of misfits and weirdos. Geeks. Nerds. People who needed to know how machines worked; needed to take them apart, make them better, and put them back together again. People who existed a little apart from society’s established hierarchy … and often saw that hierarchy as another machine to be deconstructed and improved. Read More

  • The Bitcoin Jet, Or, How Does Cryptocurrency Go Mainstream? Crunch Network

    The Bitcoin Jet, Or, How Does Cryptocurrency Go Mainstream?

    DIGITAL CURRENCIES ACCEPTED HERE proclaims the plaque at my local froyo place, emblazoned with the Bitcoin logo: but when I ask how I would pay with Bitcoin, the Australian woman behind the counter shrugs and says, “I think we have a tablet somewhere with instructions on the back? …Nobody’s ever tried to pay me with it.” Read More

  • Don’t Be Google Crunch Network

    Don’t Be Google

    Dear Google: what happened? Android sales are falling. Chrome has become a bloated hog. Analysts are calling you “the new Microsoft,” or worse, “the new Yahoo!” And worst, most damning of all: you have squandered our trust. You used to be special, Google. Or at least we used to believe you were special. But you seem more and more like just another megacorporation. Read More

  • What You Need To Know About Zero Knowledge Crunch Network

    What You Need To Know About Zero Knowledge

    Anonymity? Privacy? How quaint. We live in a world bedecked with ever more cameras, ever more sensors, ever more drones, ever more data, ever fewer things that can be hidden. TLS and Tor can hide your activities online, true — but, realistically, everything important you do, online or off, can easily be audited and tracked by governments and/or corporations. Read More

  • Three Reasons Why Your Software Is So Far Behind Schedule Crunch Network

    Three Reasons Why Your Software Is So Far Behind Schedule

    When not opining here on TechCrunch I’m a software engineer for the fine folks at HappyFunCorp (1) and I’m occasionally called on to diagnose and fix projects that have gone horribly wrong (2). The more I do this, the more I notice commonalities among problem projects–“antipatterns,” if you will. Here I give you three more of my ongoing list of such. Names have… Read More

  • This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous Crunch Network

    This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous

    Things are getting pretty strange out there. Roughly a year ago I wrote a post entitled “This Industry Is Completely Ridiculous.” Since then, as you probably already know, our world has gotten even more surreal. If anything the ridiculousness is accelerating. It’s like the tech industry is subject to a Moore’s Law of weird. Read More