“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
— Shunryu Suzuki
I was recently given the opportunity to present myself as a “thought leader for my industry.” I’ve been pondering this. What do I know? What do I know so deeply and fully that others might want to hear my opinions about it? Not much, it seems. Actually, I don’t have nearly as many answers as I have questions. But more than this, it’s the questions that really keep me interested. (more…)
I love my smartphone. Like many of us today, I couldn’t live without my phone. I don’t do anything these days until my phone tells me I need to do it. Ok. Maybe slightly hyperbolic, but I can certainly say without exaggeration that I’m a more organized and productive person because of my phone.
But, the idea of a smart, wearable device? I didn’t get the point of it. Why would I want to take the functionality of my phone and compress it into an even smaller screen? It’s already tough enough to navigate my 4.7-inch smartphone. The idea of navigating an interface only slightly larger than a postage stamp was laughable. (more…)
In the early years of Art & Logic, my wife and I liked to visit a small inn in Palm Springs called Villa Royale. It was lovely. Each room was decorated in a different European country theme. The proprietors traveled frequently and brought back regional artifacts to lend authenticity to the room designs. It was a relaxed and creative space — especially the small pool at the back of the property with its odd shape and faux antique fountain. This was before we had children, so we had lots of hours to while away. I spent many of them pacing around that pool and sketching out my vision for how Art & Logic should work. How would we recruit developers? How would we keep track of our time? How would we bill our clients? (more…)
“What does this ‘refactor’ word you keep using really mean . . .?”
I could almost hear the client’s eyes and nose scrunching up in scrutiny. We were talking about realistic budgets and schedules for a potentially large, multi-developer feature addition to his existing application.
I switched gears, put on my imaginary professor glasses and set my imaginary apple on the corner of my desk.
“Well, you are right. It’s part of the software development and developers’ lexicon. It’s a word that means – sort of – ‘optimize’ or ‘clean up’ or ‘tighten’ and, really, all three of these things at once.”
“So, the code is dirty?” he intoned. I could hear the silent thought bubble form above his head — “but-I’m-paying-you-NOT-to-write-bad-code!” (more…)
Why would developers or other technology-driven companies hire a development firm? It happens more often than you think, and maybe not for the reasons you would expect. Some developers (by which we also mean in-house teams at technology companies) always use outside software developers because they do not actually build stuff in-house. More often than not, however, we find that companies with in-house software engineers find themselves in need of outside help for a variety of reasons, five of which we’ll address here. (more…)