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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Compose first, build last.

I was brainstorming a new product with a client the other day. We had all sorts of amazing ideas, ranging from cool user-interface tweaks to (almost) entirely new business models. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” was probably the most commonly uttered phrase. And then we came back to ground. Brainstorming is fun – but we […]

Sleep habits.

I found an article online about re-setting your sleep patterns.  I’ve tried this myself, repeatedly – it’s a great way to re-set. I still struggle with insomnia sometimes, and this routine is what I follow when it all gets out of whack. The thing I’d add is that I make sure I’m properly hydrated before […]

Working with large, distributed teams

My last few projects have involved large-ish (up to 50 or so) teams, spread across multiple locations. I’ve been reading about this, and had the occasional conversation with @seldo about how NPM runs its teams, and I’ve realized a few things. Firstly – language is crucial. Invest in a common idiom! My current development team has […]

Customer centric businesses need to be able to iterate. Quickly

I’m seeing the concept of “customer centric” business in more of my work. Focusing on your customer’s experience is obviously a good thing. But… I was chatting to a friend whose business is trying to become more customer centric. My friend is the lead for this project, and he’s encountering all the classic challenges – the […]

Offices suck.

About 5 years ago, people realized that they had better IT from Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn than they got from their own IT. Their home devices were much nicer to use, and much easier to live with, than their work laptop. They got free, unlimited email from Google, with amazing search while their IT department […]

There goes my job – again?

A fairly widely reported story last week explains how Microsoft research have created an AI that can write software. Hacker News went crazy – as you might expect. Can an AI write software? Yes – it clearly can. Writing software means converting sentences a human understands into instructions for a computer; if Google Translate can […]

Don’t worry what you’ll do when you leave education – your job hasn’t been invented yet.

I was listening to a podcast the other day – Tim Ferris talking to Chris Young – and there was a great quote from Chris when he discussed the relationship he had with his father. At some stage, Chris’ father told him “Don’t worry what you’ll do when you leave education – your job hasn’t […]

Europe.

I feel European. If I shared any of cousin Dirk‘s talents, I’d qualify to play football for 3 countries. I grew up speaking English at home, Dutch at school, and Frisian with my friends in the playground (though I never got the hang of Sneekers). Growing up, school and music trips went to France, Belgium […]

Project management job number one: land the f****ing plane

I’ve been making software for a few decades now, and worked on all sorts of projects – small, large, complex, simple, fun, and not-so-fun. One of the biggest problems with software is the amount of information a developer needs to keep in his head (I believe Dijkstra once wrote that software developers were unique in […]

My kids don’t watch TV. How will you sell them anything?

Disclaimer – views entirely my own, nothing to do with my employer. Familiarity ≠best Advertising seeks to persuade human beings to make one choice over another. A big part of this has been taking advantage of our tendency to substitute hard questions (“which can of beans would be the rationally best choice?”) for easier questions […]