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

Empathy: The Web Professional's Greatest Skill

Gerry McGovern at CMS Wire – Empathy: The Web Professional's Greatest Skill:

“One very interesting technique Tomer uses to combat ‘stay in the building’ syndrome he calls Field Fridays. “Field Fridays are an excellent opportunity for software engineers to meet users face to face, see how they use their products, and learn about their behavior. During these events, a team of engineers moderates 20-minute interview sessions with real users, speed dating style, on a Friday morning once a month.”

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 14:12:29 +0000

How to respond to a YouTube cat-astrophe? Decentralize the web!

MediaGoblin – How to respond to a YouTube cat-astrophe? Decentralize the web!:

“Today, for a few minutes, YouTube went down. For a brief moment in time, millions of cat voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

[…] But there is a structural problem, one that's the case with any major centralized service: when that service goes out, it takes everything it hosts out with it. This is a reminder that these types of institutions, even when run by brilliant and wonderful people, have inherent flaws as they become large, centralized behemoths. Even the nicest, most well run of centralized behemoths can fall. And will.”

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 20:36:52 +0000

The care and feeding of software engineers (or, why engineers are grumpy)

Nicholas C. Zakas – The care and feeding of software engineers (or, why engineers are grumpy):

“Software engineers aren’t builders. Software engineers are creators.

[…] In software there’s “not enough time” to gather all the requirements ahead of time. The importance of moving quickly is hammered into us from day one. And so engineers learn to fill in the gaps left by product managers just to keep the project going.

[…] The frequency with which people above us change their minds is incredibly frustrating for software engineers.

[…] We like building small things to ship quickly and then later combining them into a big thing. Why? Because that’s how we get our work out to people.

[…] Being creative people, we put up with all of this because we know that one day people will use our work. That’s really what drives software engineers more than anything else: the idea that people we don’t even know will be affected by our work.

[…] Make sure that your engineers have, every single day, at least four hours of uninterrupted time to code. […] Also, take at least one day a week to have no meetings. That includes daily standups.”

(Via Matthias Marschall.)

Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:41:18 +0000

Redefining productivity

Seth Godin – Redefining productivity:

“The decision about what to do next is even more important than the labor spent executing it. A modern productive worker is someone who does a great job in figuring out what to do next.

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 09:22:43 +0000

Jcrop » the jQuery Image Cropping Plugin

Deep Liquid: “Jcrop is the quick and easy way to add image cropping functionality to your web application. It combines the ease-of-use of a typical jQuery plugin with a powerful cross-platform DHTML cropping engine that is faithful to familiar desktop graphics applications.”

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:42:29 +0000

Meet the Team – Eric Barroca

Eric Barroca interviewed for the Nuxeo blog Meet the Team series:

“The main problem is staying focused on what matters. Being relatively small means you have limited resources, so we have to avoid distractions, and focus on delivering great software to customers. But we also have to let ourselves get distracted just enough by what’s moving in the market and in the technology space, so we can get cool ideas to deliver with our great software. So that’s a tricky balance.”

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 20:59:43 +0000

Apple’s maps

Mike Loukides at O’Reilly Radar – Apple’s maps:

“Apple is really looking at a data problem: bad data, incomplete data, conflicting data, poor quality data, incorrectly formatted data. Anyone who works with data understands that 80% of the work in any data product is getting your data into good enough shape so that it’s useable. Google is a data company, and they understand this; hence the reports of more than 7,000 people working on Google Maps.”

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 20:56:58 +0000

Where Agile Starts

Matthias Marschall – Where Agile Starts:

“Treating your team members as resources will make them start acting like things instead of people. They’ll keep their great ideas to themselves.

[…] Respect their time
Respect their goals
Respect their needs”

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 20:38:02 +0000