Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Projects With No Dates?

Skip Reedy – Projects With No Dates?:

"The real reason is that we think we need the safety to protect getting that task done on time. That's not what we need it for. We need safety to get the project done on time.

We don't need the safety in the task duration, we need the safety in the project duration."

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:54:32 +0000

Creative Tools

Joe Hewitt – Creative Tools:

"The brilliance of Facebook management is encouraging everyone to take initiative, take risks, and wear as many hats as you can. I wish more tech companies operated like this."

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 07:12:39 +0000

The Cloud's My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem

Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic – The Cloud's My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem:

"We all know the feeling of logging into Facebook / Tumblr / Twitter / Netflix / Pandora / Gmail and realizing that the interface has changed. Maybe the company's internal testing says the new interface is better organized, but dang – we'd gotten used to the last one and we liked it.

[…] They remind us that we're all just children in the eyes of the cloud services provider and as long as we're under their roof, we play by their rules. At a time when trust in all kinds of civic institutions is at an all-time low, we place a lot of faith in our cloud services to do what is goodly and just. We get so upset with Facebook changes because they spark cognitive dissonance: I believe I do not trust Facebook but I act as if I trust Facebook by giving them my data."

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 13:31:34 +0000

Identifying Passionate Developers

Jeff Vera – Identifying Passionate Developers:

"Passionate developers, whether quiet or loud, think. Keep them a bit off their balance by jumping around just a bit. If they're not thinking about their answers, if only for a little bit, then you don't have a passionate developer, you have a salesman."

(Via entwickler.com.)

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:59:26 +0000

Why Facebook's new Open Graph makes us all part of the web underclass

Adrian Short at guardian.co.uk – Why Facebook's new Open Graph makes us all part of the web underclass:

"You can turn your back on the social networks that matter in your field and be free and independent running your own site on your own domain. But increasingly that freedom is just the freedom to be ignored, the freedom to starve. We need to use social networks to get heard and this forces us into digital serfdom. We give more power to Big Web companies with every tweet and page we post to their networks while hoping to get a bit of traffic and attention back for ourselves. The open web of free and independent websites has never looked so weak."

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:17:42 +0000

Talker's block

Seth Godin – Talker's block:

"If you're concerned with quality, of course, then not writing is not a problem, because zero is perfect and without defects. Shipping nothing is safe.

The second best thing to zero is something better than bad."

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:48:37 +0000

"Please complain"

Seth Godin – "Please complain":

"If no one is listening, the thinking goes, then perhaps the annoyed will quietly go away.

[…] Whichever strategy you choose, you should choose. It's the middle way that vexes... the pretending, the grudging acceptance, the insertion of many levels of filters."

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 09:58:44 +0000

Triple bypass – What does the death of the semantic web mean for publishers?

Richard Padley of Semantico – Triple bypass – What does the death of the semantic web mean for publishers?:

"For years semantic web purists have been preaching that the future is all about RDF and triples. Yet, in the 12 years that theorists have been working on the semantic web, we've yet to see many convincing practical uses for the technology."

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:36:42 +0000

No guys, it's IT vs. End-Users

Chris Riley at aiim Capture – No guys, it's IT vs. End-Users:

"Avoid the end-users, create something they don't need. Involve the end-users, increase the deployment time.

[…] IT should once again be more cutting edge then their end-users. Solving problems end-users did not even know they had. By doing so transforming their value from a specialty in obscurity into a science of efficiency."

(Via Digital Asset Management News.)

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:52:37 +0000

Customer culture

Marco Arment – Customer culture:

"People who aren't willing or able to compromise on their needs regularly are much more likely to be Windows customers. The Windows message is much more palatable to corporate buyers, committees, middlemen, and people who don't like to be told what's best for them: "You can do whatever you want, and we'll attempt to glue it together. It won't always work very well, and you might not like the results, but we will do exactly what you asked for."

Sat, 17 Sep 2011 20:46:05 +0000

The Six Pillars of Complete Developer Documentation

ProgrammableWeb – The Six Pillars of Complete Developer Documentation:

"A complete documentation set should try to include the following:

Class Reference: A comprehensive listing of API functionality.
Changelog: A reference of what changes in each API version.
Code Samples: A set of examples showing typical API usage.
Code Playground: An interactive explorer for trying the API live in the browser.
Developers Guide: A conversational written guide to using the API.
Articles: Tutorials and screencasts discussing different ways of using the API."

(Via Thorsten Mann.)

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 06:27:46 +0000

Ridiculously Transparent

Scott Weiss – Ridiculously Transparent:

"The more that I thought about it, the more I believed that sharing absolutely everything would create massive advantages and that we should live with whatever consequences resulted.

So, after board meetings, we would assemble the company and go through every board slide... How much cash in the bank? What's our burn rate? What are the biggest problems we are facing?

[…] When everyone had a clear understanding of the hard problems, their collective brains were on the table for parallel processing. The best information rarely sat with the senior executives but with the employees that were closest to the product and closest to the customers."

(Via Fred Wilson.)

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 08:11:02 +0000

Embrace And Extend

Henri Bergius – Embrace And Extend:

"These [SPDY, Dart, Schema.org] - together with WebSQL, NaCl, WebM and WebP - mean that Google has active efforts to replace practically every layer of the web (except HTML itself) with something of their own design.

The way all of these were introduced bears strong reminders of how Microsoft tried to embrace, extend, and extinguish the web in late 90s."

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 08:31:10 +0000

Watir and Watir WebDriver

"Watir, pronounced water, is an open-source (BSD) family of Ruby libraries for automating web browsers. It allows you to write tests that are easy to read and maintain. It is simple and flexible.

Watir drives browsers the same way people do. It clicks links, fills in forms, presses buttons. Watir also checks results, such as whether expected text appears on the page."

Install Watir WebDriver and get started within a minute…

"Automated test script recorders (like Selenium IDE) are for dummies. Seriously. The combination of the instant feedbackness of irb, with the awesomeness of the Watir-WebDriver API means you'll be way more productive and efficient using these two things that you'll ever be with a silly recorder."

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 19:00:38 +0000

Start With Customer Experience

Brad Feld on a Steve Jobs quote – Start With Customer Experience:

"I believe very strongly in the consumerization of IT – namely the notion that innovation in software is now being driven by consumer applications, and correspondingly by consumers, not by enterprise IT organizations and enterprise software vendors. If you accept this, it means that if you are working on enterprise applications, you also need to be obsessed with the customer experience.

[…] I completely buy the premise that the consumer experience trumps all technical decisions in any context."

Sat, 10 Sep 2011 21:00:51 +0000

al3x’s Rules for Computing Happiness

Alex Payne – al3x's Rules for Computing Happiness:

"Do not use software that must sync over the internet to function. [Ed.: I'm looking at you, Microsoft Outlook.]

[…] Use a plain text editor that you know well.

[…] Do not use anything other than a Mac at home and Linux/BSD on the server.

[…] Buy as large an external display as you can afford if you'll be working on the computer for more than three hours at a time."

(Via Marco Arment.)

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 09:10:13 +0000

Not fade away

Seth Godin – Not fade away:

"Just because there are no firestorms on the porch doesn't mean you're doing okay. More likely, there are relationships out there that need more investment, quiet customers who are unhappy but not making a big deal out of it."

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 06:36:51 +0000