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iPad Roundtable

A Dozen Perspectives on Apple’s iPad

interviewed by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article
  Is Apple’s latest creation a game changer? Some smart Apple watchers weigh in.  

“It’s a dog.”

“It’s a game changer.”

“It’s just a big iPod Touch.”

“It will fail because it lacks [a camera, multitasking, support for Flash, a standard USB port].”

“Once you actually get your hands on it, you’ll understand.”

“iPad? Really? Does Apple have no women in marketing?”

There was no lack of reaction to Apple’s announcement of the iPad in January. Much of it was uninformed, some of it was thoughtful, and taken as a whole it was just inconclusive.

Apple clearly believes it has come up with something of importance in the iPad. I wanted to get some clear thinking about the device, so, after Steve Jobs demo’d Apple’s latest creation, I checked in with about a dozen really smart people. (See their credentials at the end of the article.) They included iPhone developers, Apple watchers, writers, and editors. I asked them to think hard about a few fundamental questions regarding the new device. The result is this roundtable discussion on the significance of the iPad.

How Big a Deal Is the iPad?

Tony Bove: “Big, big deal. It’s a game changer for the Internet as a publishing medium, for the software industry with regard to applications, and for the mobile device industry with regard to the overall digital media experience.”

Alan Smithee: “I’m not good at predicting the market. Might have a better idea after I fondle (er, use) one. Very curious to know about the keyboard, about the feel of the thing, about how apps work—are they still sandboxed? how do I save documents? I tend to be an empiricist—the market will tell us if Apple did it right. ‘It’s like dog food. Until the dogs eat it, you’re not sure.’”

Marcus S. Zarra: “This is a huge development. As a developer I am already considering this device as a replacement for the MacBook Air that I carry around with me everywhere I go.”

Nicolas Bourbaki: “I think this will do for the netbook segment what iPhone did for the smart phone, i.e. redefine it. The market for netbooks is smaller than for phones but over time I think the iPad will penetrate where the netbook has/would not. So yeah, I think it’s huge.”

Ed Burnette: “I’ve got mixed feelings about it. It looks like a very well done, very polished product. I can’t wait until someone does a tear-down on it because I get into that sort of thing, seeing all the parts they used. And I’m curious about the Apple A4 chip. So as a gadget lover, naturally I want one to play with.”

Alan Oppenheimer: “Oh yeah, it is a big deal. Probably not iPhone big, but still pretty big.”

Isn’t It Just a Big iPod Touch?

John Jainschigg: “Pundits are now devaluing Apple’s latest brainchild, calling it ‘a big iPod Touch.’ To these fickle opinioneers I would ask two questions: 1) What else could the iPad reasonably have been? And 2) Isn’t ‘a big iPod Touch’ rather a powerful idea?”

James Duncan Davidson: “It’s not just a big iPod Touch. The people who are pushing that position aren’t in the device’s target market or are just being dismissive. It’s a huge deal. It hits the value proposition that the netbook was trying to, but does it in a manner that will be more successful.”

Alan Oppenheimer: “Will it redefine the mobile device market? Or is it just a big iPod Touch? Neither. It’s most likely a new class of device. Sort of like the iPod was, actually. Both weren’t really new, but were to the general public. And Apple made their UI great.”

John Jainschigg: “I think ‘a big iPod Touch’ is a very powerful idea, and that the iPad constitutes a watershed moment in how the entire economy, experience, benefits, and use-case-collection for net-connected computing works for the average person. It’s very premature to project an Apple win here, since Google’s Android, Moblin, and Microsoft offerings now play aggressively and with increasing competence in this space. But the mockretariat is wrong to perceive this as anything but a significant event.”

Who’s Going to Use It?

Alan Oppenheimer: “Where will it be used? Good question. But there’s so much ‘there’ there, it will be. Education? eBooks? Navigation? In my kitchen? Health care? Many possibilities.”

Marcus S. Zarra: “As other professions realize the power and capabilities of this device, they will be able to commission applications specific to their work needs. Client legal files at your finger tips, X-ray and other scans available to doctors, insurance forms, the list simply does not end.”

Tony Bove: “For people who use a single laptop with a DVD drive, etc., this won’t be attractive for awhile. But laptops are far more fragile and prone to mechanical failures, and become obsolete in about 3 years. By then, the software world will have changed to support more low-cost apps, more videos will stream from the Internet, and you won’t care about having a DVD drive on the road anyway—you’ll want an iPad.”

James Edward Gray II: “I don’t think the iPad is really targeted at über geeks like me. To me, it is pretty much a big iPod. I’m more inclined to want the power tools of my trusty laptop over that. To others, though, perhaps even my parents, it may be all they really need. They don’t care how open the platform is and they won’t miss not having a compiler. They just want simple computing and I think the iPad really pushes the envelope there.”

John Jainschigg: “iPad describes a paradigm already understood and esteemed by every iPhone owner (who will nevertheless purchase iPads too). And it will inherit from iPhone a huge and essentially automatic impetus towards ‘technology populist’ tolerance in the enterprise, as well as likely becoming—by a similar inevitable-as-gravity process—the device of first choice among select vertical markets. For example, telemedicine, which will quickly discover that while iPhones are hard to secure, 3G-less iPads are much easier to build HIPAA-compliant wireless apps around.”

What’s the Real Significance of the iPad?

Dave Thomas: “When I first watched the announcement, I felt somewhere between disappointed and embarrassed. Twenty minutes of Steve Jobs showing us that if you click links in a browser a new page appears seemed fairly lame.

“But talking about it afterwards with my family, I realized that I’d missed the point (and perhaps Apple couldn’t find a good way to make the point). I’m guessing that the thing about the iPad isn’t what it does, it’s what it doesn’t do. I’m guessing that it becomes invisible when you’re using it. I’m guessing that the tactile display becomes second nature after a couple of minutes, and what’s reported to be a fast processor reduces those returns-to-reality you experience when things go slowly.

“So I’m guessing that the iPad is significant because it represents a lower-impedance interface to the ’net.

“For me, the key sentence in the presentation was when Jobs was talking about Fandango, and said something like ‘you’ll pick up the iPad in your kitchen and book a ticket.’ And that’s the way it will be: instant on access to the stuff you need.”

Andy Hunt: “Like most technologies, it will start off as a toy and curiosity. There will be a few cool new uses and applications (small a), but the huge sea change will come over time.

“Ultimately, it will be a very big deal, and redefine how we interact with computing devices. Think about it: no mouse, no stylus, no fixed keyboard. Want a Dvorak keyboard? Or a customized layout for a sophisticated application such as Final Cut or Logic? It’s just code.

“We’re looking at the beginning of the true direct-manipulation interface. No more wiggling a spatially disconnected mouse or scribbling on an eternally blank tablet with no feedback. I think the effect of such an immediate, in-your-face interface will be pervasive and long lasting, in ways that we’re only just beginning to imagine.

“There’s an old story about requirements gathering that says you can’t gauge the needed capacity of a new bridge by counting the number of people who swim across every day. In winter. But once the bridge is there, a whole new ecosystem is created. New opportunities, new possibilities emerge from the new context.

“And I think that’s exactly what we’ll see here. Not at first, but over the course of time, this style of tablet device may well become the primary computing interface for most people. Perhaps it uses your desktop computer (now moved into the back of the closet) for processing power. Maybe it becomes a simple front end for the net, or processing power will grow on the device to replace the laptop. Maybe. At any rate, I can see this interaction style replacing the standard keyboard/mouse/screen arrangement for most people most of the time.”

What Are the Opportunities for Developers?

Nicolas Bourbaki: “The developer opp is similar to iPhone but more. There is more screen real estate to work with, so the user interaction with their data becomes even more physically oriented. The ‘information appliance’ discussion that was happening a couple of years back is where the iPad really shines.”

Marcus S. Zarra: “This device is going to fuel development for the next few years. Just like with the iPhone, we Apple-focused developers are now at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Every company out there needs Objective-C developers and they need them badly. There is simply no better time to be an Objective-C developer than right now. When the iPhone SDK came out, things were great. But I have a feeling we haven’t seen anything yet!”

Tony Bove: “The iPod touch/iPhone/iPad ecosystem is also a publishing medium for software. This changes the game for productivity and Office-like applications, which are now 1/10 the price (Keynote, for example, is $10, while PowerPoint is about $100). Opportunities are wide open for inventions that build on all the strengths of iPhone apps and take advantage of the larger display. Games are huge—this is the perfect game machine. Content becomes more important (yeah!) as a differentiator.”

James Duncan Davidson: “I think the most powerful iPad applications will be those that combine elements of the network with native application features. The iTunes store is the clearest example of this, of course.”

Alan Smithee: “Better immersive apps. Interesting multiplayer apps on the same screen (air-hockey, anyone?)”

What Are the Challenges for Developers?

Kent Beck: “The biggest implication I see for application developers is whether to write native applications or HTML5-based applications. There are huge pluses either way and some serious minuses. It’s great to have Apple handle billing and distribution, but the medieval release process is a giant granite boulder in the middle of Innovation Street. With HTML5 you get freedom from a single platform and the ability to release multiple times per day, but you have to handle the business side yourself and you lose some performance.”

Alan Smithee: “Dealing with the wave of people who didn’t leap on the bandwagon before and will now flood the developer market for the new New Gold Rush.”

Alan Oppenheimer: “More sales versus more work :) The biggest challenge so far is looking like maintaining one code base.”

Marcus S. Zarra: “To exceed the examples that Apple has given us in their iWork suite. Make no mistake; while these are great applications on their own, they have also thrown down the gauntlet to all of the iPhone/iPad developers out there, saying: Here is how it is done; this is the kind of attention to detail and great design we want to see.

“I do have one severe concern for the future of the iPad and that concern is completely controlled by the developers. We must avoid the death spiral of pricing. Lowering your price to combat competition never wins in an open market. Fight on quality, not price.”

Tony Bove: “Apps have to fit into a consumer price structure, so the challenge is to create bite-sized apps that do different functions (and charge for them separately) rather than to create monolithic, higher-priced apps that try to do everything (and often fail). Expensive applications that would lock you into their formats (such as Word and PowerPoint) are now replaced by apps that handle standard formats and cost one-tenth the price. Lock-in is no longer a marketing tool, which is good for the consumer, but a challenge for software companies to make money.”

James Duncan Davidson: “Learning how to design for multitouch and the display format is critical. Even more critical really than with the iPhone. The iPhone is a one-hand device. The iPad is, I think, going to expand to be able to be used well with two hands. Doing that well will be tricky, but will reward those who sort it out.”

Andy Hunt: “We used to tell people not to write C in Java, or Java in Ruby, or whatever the latest technical migration happened to be. And that’s the challenge here: don’t write desktop apps, or even web apps, for the iPad or other tactile tablets. It’s a new world.”

Is iPad a Kindle Killer?

David McClintock: “I must say that the Kindles I see on the subway look a bit primitive now, like black-and-white TVs.”

Ed Burnette: “I know it’s not E Ink like the Kindle, but for me, I’m used to reading things on LCD screens all day anyway. As long as the screen is big enough (and it is on the iPad and some of the new Android tablets) and the resolution is high enough, and the display is bright enough, then I’ll be happy with it.”

Nicolas Bourbaki: “Probably does kill the Kindle, not right away, but the iTunes buying experience is hard to beat. The graphically rich iPad book reader blows away the flat dual-tone Kindle.”

Tony Bove: “It marginalizes Kindle and others like it—devices that don’t offer multiple types of content can reach only a small, segmented market. But Amazon separated its hardware division from book sales. Amazon understands the book market and offers an excellent recommendation system, and could easily sell more books on the iPad (with a Kindle app) than Apple will through its new iBookstore.”

Andy Hunt: “It might kill the Kindle outright, but I think it’s most likely that users will focus on the Kindle for the experience of novels and reading on paper-like E Ink, and focus on the iPad and its successors for a richer, full-color and multimedia experience. Sort of like books versus magazines: different beasts with different goals.”

James Duncan Davidson: “The Kindle is a great idea in a barely acceptable implementation. I’ve loved my Kindle, but having a device that’s a superset of what the Kindle does means that I’ll be selling or giving away my Kindle soon. After all, the iPhone Kindle app is already there. You have to think that Amazon is evaluating what to do.”

James Edward Gray: “Apple has upped the ante and you now need to do more than just read books. There is definitely some competition in the space now and that’s probably good for everyone.”

What Does It Mean for Books and Media?

David McClintock: “This is an Age-of-Aquarius moment for publishing. Authors will have more freedom (and some expectations) to realize those multimedia dreams of the 90s.”

Tony Bove: “The ecosystem helps creators monetize content, such as books, and possibly magazines and newspapers, and guarantees a healthy advertising market. Books may enjoy more sales, and at slightly lower prices; textbooks may drop in price drastically. Newspapers may actually come back to life if they can take some market share back from Google, craigslist and eBay—or find ways to monetize connections to/from these services. We will see pay-walls for the biggest newspapers and magazines, but that may be temporary. Ad sales will be boooooooming. TV shows will be more ubiquitous on the web (finally) and include lots more live broadcasts. And yes, most of this is due to the mobile device explosion, but the iPad will kick this into overdrive. People may actually read more. This device brings back conventional media in a truly accessible form.”

Ed Burnette: “The other day I was buying a paperback book for my wife, I believe it was $7.95 with free shipping from Amazon. Just for fun I looked up the Kindle price: $9.95. In what universe can it be more expensive to download some bits as compared to printing and binding a book, shipping, and warehousing it at the bookseller, then shipping it again to your house?! At Pragprog, eBooks are 30-40% less than the paper version. Books have gotten so expensive lately, especially the paperbacks I used to read all the time. If book stores could make eBooks—to pick a nice round number—half the price of paper books, that would really stimulate demand.”

David McClintock: “The iPad fits well between smart phones and laptops, as Steve Jobs demonstrated. But I’m curious about the other side, between laptop and TV. It may be perceived as an entertainment device, starting with Steve’s leather chair. That’s certainly not a bad place to be, especially if it’s aimed at the ‘personal time at home or on the road’ use case.

“But to swallow the laptop, the business use case has to be made: quick slide shows and videos in impromptu meetings; portability; data entry ‘on the floor’ and in the field. But with only one app open at a time (for now), business users (and students) may balk. And in meetings, the initial gazes of admirers may eventually turn to suspicious looks.”

Is This a Big Boost for the EPUB Format?

Ed Burnette: “The fact that the iPad uses EPUB is fantastic. EPUB is the best format right now for books. It has good styling (unlike MOBI), it reflows well (unlike PDF) and it’s an industry standard. Everybody uses it except Amazon with the Kindle. They should switch. Some things are holding back eBook sales though. The first is a universal format. Pragprog uses PDF for PCs, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for everything else. There should be just one format, and I should be able to take one book and read it anywhere. It’s annoying and inconvenient not to be able to do that.”

Marcus S. Zarra: “This is a huge boost for the EPUB and I hope that Amazon is smart enough to recognize that their core business is selling books and it is in their best interests to support EPUB directly.”

James Duncan Davidson: “As far as media goes, that part’s still unclear. EPUB is interesting, but what will be more interesting is what formats open up that allow richer authoring for the device. I’m surprised we didn’t see something like the iTunesLP format except in a subscription format. We still might.”

Tony Bove: “The EPUB format will certainly get more visibility, but many publications (not books) will opt for custom apps or HTML5 pages.”

What Is the iPad’s Greatest Shortcoming?

Alan Oppenheimer: “No multitasking.”

Alan Smithee: “I was surprised by the lack of a camera. Flash? A colleague said, ‘Doesn’t even support Flash? Duuuuude, that’s a feature.’ Just figured out why it has no camera: AT&T would have refused to offer cheap 3G, because people would be videoing non-stop, saturating their net. I wonder if Apple will approve apps that even receive video during chat.

Andy Hunt: “Weight. The Kindle is better than a laptop because it’s easier to read in bed or a recliner. Holding the iPad for any length of time I think will be an issue. But not an intractable one; it will surely get lighter over time with new and better materials, etc.”

Tony Bove: “No multitasking announced yet. But I assume it will happen shortly, and you’ll be able to run several iPhone-sized apps at the same time. No video conferencing or video chat (yet). I don’t really need a camera or video camera in the device (those are already in my phone, which of course is an iPhone), but video-conferencing would be a nice addition and take advantage of the full screen. No GPS (although it probably offers the same location services as an iPod touch, through Wi-Fi). These are shortcomings of the current version; I expect all of these to be part of the iPad for 2011.”

James Duncan Davidson: “I think the lack of an iSight camera for doing video chat is an oversight. Anything else I can think of is a more minor thing. For example, I’d like a built-in SD card reader for removable storage. There’s an optional dongle bit for that, but if it was built in, it’d be nicer. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed in a second rev though. Of course, in use, we’ll find out if there are other shortcomings.

“I’m curious about sync and how documents are handled. A huge thing I’m waiting to see is how well something like Dropbox can work with the iPad. Dropbox has become a major part of my computing experience and I hope it can be leveraged there in a deeper way than just the viewer app that is on the iPhone.”

Ed Burnette: “The issue of multi-tasking is largely overblown. People say, ‘Well, I can’t have Twitter and email (or whatever) going at the same time’ and dismiss it. But even with Android, where you can have all that stuff going at the same time, you can only see one at a time. As a user, you can’t usually tell if there is multi-tasking go on, or if you can just really quickly switch between two or more tasks. Let’s say you’re working on a presentation and you need to look up something on the web. On both Android and iPhone/iPad you press a button to go to the home screen and select the browser app. Does it matter to the user if the presentation app is still running in the background as opposed to having been paused while the browser is up? Not really, unless the background app takes up memory or CPU time and makes the foreground app slower. In that case either the user or the system may want to go kill the background app anyway. That’s why app killers are so popular on Android. Little things like programs that watch for incoming email or chat messages, or play music, make sense to run all the time and are very useful. Apple accommodates that a little, but doesn’t go far enough. Android is wide open, but this gives apps more rope to hang themselves with.”

Marcus S. Zarra: “The biggest shortcoming of the device has more to do with the web than it does with the device itself. This is the reliance of companies on Flash technology. Apple has made it clear they do not want Flash in their devices. Companies need to realize that Flash is a terrible tech and move away from it. Once they do, we will be able to watch more video on the iPad than we can currently. Right now, we are severely limited in our video viewing options due to the current war going on. This does not even mention the other applications of Flash, such as games. Imagine being able to play Farmville on your iPad while traveling cross country in a car or train. That is currently not possible due to their reliance on Flash.”

Dave Thomas: “I’m annoyed that we’re being subjected to the V1.0 marketing game—I want the cameras, and the Verizon deal, and everything else. But I think that, assuming they keep the development on track, this style of device will indeed be something we just leave lying around the house, on hand for whenever we need to plumb into the aether that now holds our brains.”

What Is Its Greatest Strength?

Andy Hunt: “An improved interface paradigm over the forty-year-old mouse/keyboard/screen arrangement that we’re used to. I really can’t understate how important that shift will be over time.”

Tony Bove: “The iPad is fast. Its processor, A4, is a System-on-a-Chip, or SOC. This is one of the main reasons why iPad can deliver a lively Internet experience. It’s also good at managing the power. But the real advantage is, of course, the OS and the ecosystem of stores and apps. Other strengths have nothing to do with hardware/software but with the ecosystem itself: 125 million accounts with credit cards in iTunes/App Store, 75 million people already know how to use it before they even get it.”

James Duncan Davidson: “The strength of the device comes from the combination of an API, the screen size, Multi-Touch, and the performance of the device.”

Alan Oppenheimer: “Multi-Touch (or just touch). Plus Apple’s polish. Plus the ability to run iPhone apps.”

Nicolas Bourbaki: “Multi-Touch interface first, then weight/size, then processing power.”

Alan Smithee: “Multiple strengths: Cheap net over cell network is intriguing if AT&T can hold up. Coolness factor. Price. Cool way to watch movies (I watch most movies on my laptop).”

Marcus S. Zarra: “The form factor. The flood of app discussions that have started since its announcement has been incredible. For me, being able to use the iPad on a plane is going to be a huge improvement over my current setup. The thought of multiplayer board games at my fingertips is going to be a real pleasure. Being able to work on my next book while I am in coach on a cross-country flight is something I especially look forward to. There is no doubt that this device is a game changer.”

Ed Burnette: “This is clearly a Steve Jobs product. He gets a consistent view of how things should work in his head and stubbornly insists on everything being done that way. Which is great if you happen to share his sensibilities. Usually they turn out to be spot on with what a lot of people like, so his products feel natural to use.”

Will You Buy One?

Andy Hunt: “Yes. Will I use it as often as my laptop or iTouch? That remains to be seen. Given its lack of computing power, I would love to try using it over VNC/Remote Desktop to control a full-power desktop computer over WiFi. With enough bandwidth, that could really get you the best of both worlds.”

Alan Smithee: “I need to fondle one first. Then my partner wants one. Then probably not, but I’m intrigued by the idea of a lightweight device that does much of what my laptop does.”

Alan Oppenheimer: “One? We need at least a couple just for development.”

Kent Beck: “I doubt it, unless I want to develop for it. My 13" MBP gives me many of the same portability advantages. The Touch is a superior music device because of size. My big TVs are superior for family video viewing. And AT&T doesn’t have coverage out here in the sticks. I don’t possess the bundles of needs the iPad is supposed meet.”

Tony Bove: “No question about it. My next ‘laptop’ is this. I can see my computing needs taken care of with one desktop system at home that’s always on and connected (with all the trimmings to create multimedia content), and my iPad and iPhone on the road.”

Marcus S. Zarra: “As soon as Apple allows me to give them money I will be ordering at least one.”

Nicolas Bourbaki: “We are most likely going to buy the $850 one for my wife with the $15 data plan to start. We might end up with 7 or 8 by the end of 2011 (one for each member of the family).”

James Duncan Davidson: “Does a monkey have a tail?”

The interviewer feels compelled to point out that, no, not every monkey has a tail. And so we conclude, as we might have known we would, inconclusively.

Kent Beck is the founder and director of Three Rivers Institute. His contributions to software development include patterns for software, the rediscovery of test-first programming, the xUnit family of developer testing tools, and Extreme Programming. He is the author/co-author of Implementation Patterns, Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change 2nd Edition, Contributing to Eclipse, Test-Driven Development: By Example, Planning Extreme Programming, The Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns, and the JUnit Pocket Guide.

Nicolas Bourbaki is a highly respected author and developer who has been using Objective-C since the NeXTStep days and who, given his relationship with Apple, chooses to appear here under a pseudonym.

Tony Bove is a pioneer in desktop publishing and publisher of Tony’s Tips for iPhone Users Manual (iPhone app) and co-author of iPhone Application Development All-In-One Desk Ref. For Dummies and the forthcoming iPad Application Development For Dummies.

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has authored numerous technical articles and books, including Hello, Android from The Pragmatic Programmers. He writes the Dev Connection blog for ZDNet, and is the creator of Planet Android.

James Duncan Davidson (@duncan) is a photographer and recovering software engineer. He travels the world making photographs at interesting conferences such as TED, Web 2.0 Summit, and RubyConf. His website is

James Edward Gray II is a Ruby and Rails programmer. He is the author of TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac.

John Jainschigg has spent 25+ years in online and print media as Publisher or Editor in Chief of market-leading b2b and b2c technology titles. He founded the first global conference for virtual world developers (Life 2.0) and has been a virtual worlds consultant/vendor in various contexts to IBM, Sun, Cisco, Microsoft, and others.

David McClintock founded Wordsupply, a writing, editing, and social media services company, in March 2000. He is the former vice president of Dorset House, a publisher of books on software development and team management. In addition to other activities, he serves as a developmental editor for Pragmatic Bookshelf.

Alan Oppenheimer was responsible for many of AppleTalk's protocols, in both the Macintosh and the LaserWriter printer, and is coauthor of the book Inside AppleTalk. Alan left Apple to found Open Door Networks, a Macintosh Internet utilities company, focusing on Internet security. Most recently, Alan has been spending a lot of time with the company's iPhone products.

Alan Smithee is another highly-respected author and developer who has been using Objective-C since the NeXTStep days and who, for reasons of his own, chooses to appear here under a pseudonym—which, incidentally, anagrams to Inhale steam.

Marcus S. Zarra is the owner of Zarra Studios LLC and the creator of seSales and iWeb Buddy as well as being a co-author of “Cocoa Is My Girlfriend",” a wildly popular blog covering all aspects of Cocoa development. Marcus is the author of Core Data: Apple's API for Persisting Data on Mac OS X.

Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas are also known as the Pragmatic Programmers, for their epynonymous first book in 1999, The Pragmatic Programmer. They are founders of the Agile software movement, co-authored the Manifesto for Agile Development, and are my bosses.

iPad photo courtesy of Apple.