What We Saw at SXSW 2017

What We Saw at SXSW 2017

We attended the SXSW Interactive Conference last week and it was just as busy, exciting, and informative as one would expect. We went to sessions covering everything from art and technology to medical software, hearables, wearables, IoT, audio software, software development, AR/VR, and how technology companies can give back to the community.

Medical software and wearables both covered issues relating to the use of data, with several discussions focusing on making the best use of the vast amounts of data that are now collected. Over at the wearables sessions, makers concentrated more on the accuracy of the limited types of data collected and shared their concerns about keeping users engaged with their wearable devices for more than three months. (more…)

Architectural History and the Value of Maintaining a Clear, Consistent Database

Architectural History and the Value of Maintaining a Clear, Consistent Database

Sometimes, old buildings have really interesting stories to tell if you have just a few additional bits of knowledge about them. Not that long ago, I found myself in an old church in Pasadena, California. It had been built in the style of European Renaissance cathedrals with lots of pointed arches, a high-vaulted ceiling, and lots of lovely stained glass windows. Those on the south side of the building would take on a beautiful luminescence whenever the late-morning sun would break through the usual LA gray haze.

Interesting bit about those stained glass windows, though; as they march from the front of the building to the back, suddenly, near the end of the structure, they suddenly stop being effervescent, glowing yellows, blues, reds, and greens, and become dull, uninteresting gray concrete. It’s hard to see why the builders would suddenly give up on one of the most interesting and beautiful features of the architecture. Until, that is, you learn one of those interesting bits of knowledge. It seems that the building was constructed in the 1920s, the roaring era of prosperity – albeit ever so shallow – when money flowed freely and everything was possible. In this climate, nothing seemed too good to adorn this building with. And then, 1929 happened. In that new climate, suddenly concrete seemed just fine. The story of the stained glass windows doesn’t make sense unless you know the story of what was going on in the broader economic life of the nation and the world. (more…)

I’m Sorry: Your Software Project Will Never Be Finished.

I’m Sorry: Your Software Project Will Never Be Finished.

No, really.

In fact, when you go live, your software shouldn’t be “done.” If it is, you’ve done something wrong.

You see, in the history of software, there’s never been such a thing as a piece of software that launched without bugs. Think of your favorite, most used platforms. Gmail. Facebook. Salesforce. All are brimming with bugs. Every day a user writes into their contact forms about a bug they discovered, and while a lot of them are PEBKAC errors, a lot of them are legitimate bugs. And the ticket tracker logs them, someone triages them, and, eventually, most of them will be corrected.

But before that happens, some new feature will be added, or an existing feature will be modified (‘member when Facebook separated out the messages app from the FB mobile app?), and that will create a whole new series of bugs. (more…)

Are You Attending CES 2017?

Are You Attending CES 2017?

Are you going to CES? We’ll be there. We expect to see some exciting breakthroughs in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) as well as new innovations in pro-audio equipment, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and much more. It looks like the augmented reality presence at this year’s CES will be double what it was last year, so there will be plenty of new AR and VR devices to experience. If you need a development firm to help you with your AR device, let us know. (more…)

Looking Back at 2016 and Looking Forward to 2017

Looking Back at 2016 and Looking Forward to 2017

As we reach the end of 2016, let’s take a look at some of the stuff we wrote about over the course of the year. We shared our thoughts on custom software development, looking at the such things as: the differences between composing and improvising; the value of refactoring; the nuances of following a lean-startup model; the conflict between Apple and the FBI; what happens when bad projects happen to good people; and a top ten list of the ways in which software development is like parenting. (more…)

A Few of Our New Year’s Resolutions

A Few of Our New Year’s Resolutions

Paul
I resolve to brighten the lives and businesses of our clients and partners at every touch point.

I resolve to be more creative and persistent in uncovering the deepest and most meaningful ways in which we can impact our clients’ and partners’ success.

I resolve to get better at explaining how software is a creative medium and needs breathing room for creativity to flourish. (more…)