The cached version of Joe Stack’s software engineering firm, Embedded Art, says Stack’s mission was to “advance the art of programming, one project at a time; by achieving an optimum balance between cost, schedule, functionality, reliability, and maintainability.”
Stack, who allegedly flew a small plane into an Austin building containing IRS offices today, “founded the business in 1983 in Southern California, under the name Prowess Engineering.”The description of the arc of Stack’s career on the cached Embedded Art site tracks the facts in the anti-government screed apparently written by Stack and posted on embeddedart.com. The note was taken down after the crash today, reportedly at the request of the FBI. (Late Update: The FBI says it didn’t make such a request.)
The firm “represents the culmination of 20 years of experience in the software development consulting business,” according to a 2008 version of the site. Stack was seeking to “lend a hand to the growing high technology industry in South-Central Texas.”
In the embeddedart.com note, Stack wrote of leaving Los Angeles amid the “depression” of the early 1990s, then moving to Austin, “only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done.”
He continues: “I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.”
The cached Embedded Art site describes the company this way:
The concept behind the success of Embedded Art is that we provide the experience and muscle for addressing complex software engineering development tasks. Much of today’s programming is a step-wise refinement of previous development projects. With 20 years of experience, we provide the expertise that can effectively navigate around many of the pitfalls that snare the unseasoned engineer (indeed, we’ve seen many of the same mistakes made again and again by the inexperienced).