A 19 post collection

Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

 •  Filed under Life, Development, Process, Goals

Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

I do agree that the system or process is the most important bit – t’s how you get to your goal – but I’m not sure I agree you can focus on the system/process at the exclusion of the goal. How can you define a good process without knowing what you’re after?

Settling on a development process

 •  Filed under Software, Development, Process, Dev Process, Agile, Agile Methodologies

We’ve been chatting about dev process at work, and I’ve come to realize most people settle on a dev process all wrong. People either pick one from some agile religion they’ve bought into – “scrum is what everyone is using” or “lean is so hot right now” – or they pick a little here and there from different philosophies, with no real clue what works or doesn’t work. My advice: figure out what you value first and match your dev process to those values.

We all spend a lot of time figuring out what we value in our products – easy to use, elegant, does ‘X’ better than anyone else, and so on. We need to spend just as much time figuring out what we value in how we build that product.

Do we love iteration? Do we love getting the product perfect before showing it to users? Do we value an engineering-driven culture? Or do we love cross-discipline teams?

Once we answer these sort of questions, we should match our development process to those ideals. Pick a process that reinforces what you value. With this approach, you won’t pick too much process or pick a process that doesn’t work for you. Settle on just enough process to reinforce your values and support your team. Perfect!

Don't Be a (Work) Hero

 •  Filed under Work, Development, Productivity, Work-Life-Balance, Process

Don't Be a (Work) Hero

I love this statement:

[…] I value the process of what we're doing as a company higher than the perceived short term gains of productivity of any one individual.

The work hero reminds of the hero coder. Lots of tech companies want to hire the hero coder. We’ve had a few at other places I’ve worked, and ultimately, they’re bad for everyone – themselves, their co-workers, and the company itself.

I’d much rather have people who care about the process of getting work done while also having full lives outside of work. Your product will definitely be better for it.

How Facebook Blew Its Chance To Become A Real Development Platform

 •  Filed under Development, Facebook, Web, Developers, Platforms

How Facebook Blew Its Chance To Become A Real Development Platform

I think I have particular insight on this, having been in on the Facebook Platform from the beginning. While the article was spot on in terms of missteps from Facebook, I felt from the beginning that the platform was being rolled out without an understanding of the tension between being a product and building a platform. IMHO, you can do one or the other, but you can’t do both. You’re either a platform for others to build on, or you’re a product for your own users. It’s a very rare thing that can do both well.