Posts filed under “Management”

Most People’s Approach to Delegation is Wrong

In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Issacson tells the story of how Jobs used to go down to Jonny Ive’s design department most Wednesday afternoons to go over prototypes and review proposals. Most people hear that story and think, “Wow, Steve Jobs really focused on design and built the most valuable company in the world as a […]

Where Customer Service Goes to Die

“Sorry to bother you…”, the email from my client began. It was Monday morning, and I knew the company this person worked for always had conference calls with their customers on a Monday. No doubt she was prepping for a difficult one. The email went on, “but could you help us with the query below?” […]

Perfection Considered Harmful

People are always making mistakes. People send emails to the wrong person, or forget an attachment. They give you the wrong change at the checkout or bump into you in the street. Every day, people make little mistakes. For the most part we’re quite forgiving of each other. We understand that the other human being […]

What Are You Optimising For?

Very few software designs/architectures are completely and objectively bad. Most designs optimise for something. Here’s a [probably incomplete] list of things that you could optimise for in software architecture:

  • Developer Time Now
    When we say we’re doing something “quick and dirty”, or that we are taking out “Technical Debt”, then we are optimising the development time now.
  • Developer Time Later
    This is what people traditionally mean by “good” code. A

How to Justify Delayed Engineering Projects

I love this story. Now, I am not a physicist but gonna go with my gut here and call bullshit on this. Basically, you really don’t know how the universe works, that’s why they built the machine, and this wouldn’t be the first large engineering proj…

Pick Something to Fail At

One of the consequences of technology is that theres an almost infinite number of things you could work on, both in and out of work. For example:

  • If someone I haven’t seen in years un-friends me on Facebook, I feel bad for not keeping in touch with them more. After all, I have all the tools at my disposal.
  • My PVR automatically records episodes of Sitcoms that I wouldn’t have worried about

Design Notes are not Functional Specs

At my company, we don’t write Functional Specs, we write Design Notes. This post explains the differences and the thinking behind those differences.

Design Notes contain some Balsamiqs, some text, and the occasional table definition. Many people, when they see a Design Notes document think of it as a Functional Spec. They exist purely for the time before the software is written as an aid for developers and testers

A la Carte Software

The traditional way of designing then costing a new piece of software is broken. All too often a someone spends months refining what they want, talking to everyone involved and throwing any feature ideas that they think they might need into the melting pot. Until eventually, they think they’ve covered everything.

Then; they ask someone how much it will cost.

The first problem is that software feels like it should