I also think part of the irony of Joel's article is that Frogcreek developers little more than massively overglorified CRUD software, of which any punk kid could probably churn out faster than Joel himself. :) But that's my opinion as a Python programmer who avoids C like the plague.
I was going to say "hey, good CRUD software is still good software." (And I havn't used FogBugz, but it sounds like it works well.) But then I thought, why would you ever be handling pointers in a CRUD application like what FogBugz? Of course, that's not really his point either -- it's not that pointers are the skill Joel cares about, it's that pointers represent some skill he cares about, presumably one that indicates an unteachable talent. You might then ask if that unteachable talent is the most important unteachable talent for the kind of applications Fog Creek develops. I guess I'm just arguing it is not, since their software is not algorithmically complex (like most software), and pointers don't indicate a talent that is particularly closely associated with software design at the CRUD-level. And really CRUD apps are apps that use very high level constructs (a database) to get you closer to what (IMHO) are more interesting problems -- they aren't really easier applications, except insofar as you don't make life unnecessarily harder for yourself.# Ian Bicking
Actually, I think that FogCreek is trying to lure great developers to their shop by providing a killer environment (as codified in Joel's Test). Having worked in noisy, un-appreciative environments, I think even 10 points on Joel's Test would be a great offer.
Their products really don't feel like the hottest and sexiest projects to work on. But what I've heard about them is that most of FogCreek's users really love FogCreek's products.
(It's funny though now that Joel is also a Paul Graham fanboy and Paul keeps touting how no self respecting hacker would ever work on Windows. I wouldn't object working on Windows, but it would be a little minus nevertheless.)