May 16 2012

Retweet April 2012

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Too often I’ve seen code that made me lose my lunch.
  • Sometimes source code is like the sausage factory where you don’t want to look what goes into an application.
  • One developer’s corner case is another user’s daily workflow.
  • Application logs are like money, you can always use more… Unfortunately they are like pennies, the more you have the more difficult it is.
  • Fix the problem, not the symptom. Some developers prefer to fix the symptom because they don’t know how to find the root cause itself.

Team Leadership

  • It is important to lead the way and then immediately get out of the way.
  • If it doesn’t make sense to me it is because you are not explaining it correctly.
  • Everyone has a right to their opinions but not everyone’s opinion is right.
  • Great ideas don’t belong to any one person. Great ideas are not unique to anyone. Great ideas stand on their own.
  • If you are safe in your comfort zone you’ll never be in the zone.
  • Even when I think outside the box, I am still in the zone.
  • There are no easy answers without hard choices.
  • It’s one thing to make sense and a completely different thing to be clear.
  • There are some things in life that are not meant for you to understand but to accept.

Product Placement

  • Things Apple should buy: Evernote, app TLD, Square, and my blog.
  • The Notes app on the iPhone badly needs an to support the undo and redo feature.
  • The new Google+ is the new New Coke.
  • If Google would have invented Polaroid, the film would be free but full of ads and a copy would be uploaded to the cloud.
  • Some of Google’s UI often looks and feels like the uncanny valley of design, it has a plastic aspect to it.
  • My other Tumblr is a Moleskine.
  • So much of the content I see in Pinterest seems to come from Tumblr…
  • Instagram has no ads, only available on mobile, Android support just added, not profitable, no web presence… Obviously worth $1 billion.
  • Instead of paying a billion in cash and stock why didn’t Facebook just pay a billion in Facebook Credits and likes.
  • Silicon Valley back of the envelop valuation math: Tumblr + Camera+ > Instagram therefore Tumblr + Camera+ = $10,000,000,000++.
  • I don’t understand @McDonalds economics… A whole McChicken sandwich costs $1 but ask for an extra BBQ sauce and you get charged $0.50.

Silicon Angels

  • Is it possible for the whole of Silicon Valley to jump the shark? If and when it does there will be a large splash.
  • Silicon Valley valuations are relative to previous largest valuation.
  • The Internet is paved with high valuations.
  • Frothyness is the new truthyness.
  • Frothy does a body good.

Randumb

  • I want to see the world in HD.
  • What do we want? Our way. When do we want it. All the time.
  • If someone says something that is factually untrue, it doesn’t mean they lied… It means you lied to yourself by believing it. #truth
  • One persons guest house is a other persons mansion.
  • Some people build walls, others bridges, I build BS radar detection systems.
  • Retweet, reblog, repin, remix, rinse, and repeat!
  • I think in numbers.
  • All language is a metaphor.
  • Trolls shall inherit the earth.

Oct 30 2011

Retweet September 2011

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Code. Money. Respect.
  • Software bugs don’t take anything personally.
  • Code more, sleep less.
  • DONT THREAD ON ME

Thought Leadership

  • Just having a goal is often times more important than the goal itself.
  • Word programming, i.e. writing TPS reports.
  • Code Complete = Tests + Implementation.

Product Placement

  • Google is the casino, or better yet the Goldman Sachs, of online identity, ads, and search. You don’t bet against the house.
  • What is cloud-accelerated web browser? Learning about Amazon Silk, the web browser in Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
  • The project code name for the iPhone’s auto correct is auto cucumber.
  • Spike TV should rename itself to Star Wars TV and the History Channel to Ancient Aliens Channel.

Money Angels

  • Dr Evil is starting a venture fund.
  • If Dr. Evil would have taken his Evil Corp. Public he would have made $1 billion on an IPO. And maybe Google would have bought his company.

Question

  • How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?
  • Where in the food pyramid is candy corn?
  • Is Meg Whitman the new Carol Bartz?
  • Are you changing the world or is the world changing you?
  • What is the person equivalent to having your car lifted up in the air and balancing its tires?

Randumb

  • The Internet made me do it.
  • It’s easy to earn money while you sleep, if you sleep on the job.
  • You are more likely to die due to medical error than a car accident. So if you are in a car accident, don’t go to the hospital, just walk it off.
  • If I could get a nickel every time someone gives me their two cents I would arbitrage people’s opinions.
  • Living the Internet lifestyle.
  • If you don’t want your naked picture hacked from your phone don’t take naked picture of yourself on your phone.
  • There are proposed bills that will make activities such as posting a lip sync video on YouTube a federal crime punishable with jail time.
  • Forget the war on drugs, in the future there will be a war on content.
  • History is not made, it is written, edited, scripted, and appropriated by Hollywood as a blockbuster movie about mutant super heroes.
  • I predict the past.
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, behold yourself.
  • This is not Sparta!
  • Love me, hate me, but you thinking of me.
  • Love it or hate it, take it or leave it.
  • I love love and hate hate.

Overheard

  • OH: When you frown you look like a Klingon.
  • OH: Is everyone in the call on mute?
  • OH: My dress code is to try not to show my butt cheeks.

In Da Future

  • In the future, everyone will be a product guy.
  • In the future, Facebook will be your permanent record.
  • In the future, the revolution will start with a single tweet.
  • In the future, when people say they are going outside the grid, they will mean they aren’t logged into Facebook.
  • In the future, Android developers will need to program using the Android SDK and the phone maker’s proprietary SDK, and the carriers’s SDK.

Million Idea

  • Million Dollar Idea: A treadmill with a weight scale.
  • Million Dollar idea: there is so much artificial flavoring, color, and seasoning in food. Patent dinosaur meat flavoring.
  • Million Dollar Idea: Car alarm system that steams video of the surroundings of your car and scans for perps faces.
  • Million Dollar idea: wasabi guacamole
  • Million Dollar Idea: Carfax for people, including driving record, background check, work history, etc.
  • Million Dollar idea: pepperoni pizza flavored breath mints.

Jun 30 2011

Microsoft BizSpark

In the era of Apple fanboys and opinionated Ruby on Rails developers, it might not be cool to use Microsoft tools and products. It seems that startup will tend to use Ruby over .NET, Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office, OS X or Ubuntu in lieu of Windows. I’ve never been dogmatic about the technology I use. I’m a pragmatic programmer and the fact of the matter is that a large number of computer users still rely on Microsoft products. In the financial industry, Excel spreadsheets are traded like baseball cards. Microsoft realizes that they are not the cool kids in the block, at least amongst Silicon Valley startups, and perhaps that is why the started the Microsoft BizSpark program.

I’ve been one to always chase my customers and users, not trends and fads. That is why, I’ve been a huge fan of Microsoft DreamSpark and Microsoft BizSpark. Microsoft BizSpark is a program that allows small startups have access to many of its products, frameworks, tools, and resources for free.

Microsoft BizSpark Software Download

Microsoft BizSpark Software Download

Through BizSpark you can get access to applications such as Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Office for Mac 2011, Microsoft Windows 3.1 through Windows Vista, and much more for free. There is no need for your CTO to look for serial numbers for Windows Server 2008 on Google and warez sites. BizSpark gives you legit licenses to key Microsoft products.

I’m a huge fan of any company that supports startups and software developers in general. I can’t say enough nice things about Microsoft BizSpark, even if they paid me. And not, they didn’t pay me but I am a proud member. I only wish that the Microsoft BizSpark program also included hardware.


May 23 2011

Retweet April 2011

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Thread.sleep(28800000);
  • You don’t need a PHD in PHP to be a great Web Developer.
  • Not Another Expression Language. There should be one expression language to rule them all.
  • I am not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and debugger.
  • It’s a thin line between feature and bug.
  • Code is a blunt instrument.
  • We ain’t afraid of no code block.
  • Web designers are modern day alchemists.
  • If developers are a dime a dozen, then product idea people are a silver dollar a dozen.
  • I don’t read romance novels or non-fiction before going to bed, I read programming language technical specifications.
  • New Name For Rock Band: Death By SQL Injection
  • Let there be code.
  • Just code it.
  • Code the future.
  • Crack the code.
  • Don’t be a code donkey.

Team Dynamics

  • Are you a value creator, subtractor, divider, or multiplier?
  • AWS failure is the perfect storm to the cloud.
  • Stress is excess, we don’t need it in our lives.
  • You can’t buy the scrappy mentality.
  • Scale your thought process.
  • The right time is right now.
  • Strive to do what you do well better.
  • People don’t scale and multi-task as well as computers do.
  • Give a man a thought, and he will think for a day. Teach a man to think, and he will think for himself.
  • You don’t want someone to reinvent the wheel, you need someone that makes it turn!
  • Everyone has great ideas, what is needed is great execution of great ideas.

Product Placement

  • Is Automattic, the company behind WordPress, working on an ad network? With millions of WP blogs out there, maybe it should.
  • Jiffy Lube peeps are great at up selling you on add-on services.
  • Forget HAL 3000, I’m afraid of my iPhone 3000. “I’m sorry Dave, but I’m afraid you can’t do that and I’ve notified the authorities.
  • Google announcing that better ads are coming to GMail is like the power company announcing that a better billing system is coming.
  • I feel like I get more snail mail spam than email spam. I wonder if GMail can also filter out my snail mail spam.
  • If you add up all the zero-day holes in Adobe products, you get a lot of days spent patching and upgrading buggy software.

The Valley

  • Welcome to the Blubble 2.0.
  • The trouble with the blubble.
  • I think we are in a #bubble when a website for listing free crap is valued at multiple millions of dollars.
  • Don’t pivot while you pitch.
  • How do you monetize the bubble?
  • Ah, Silicon Valley, the land of vanity startups, founders with ADD, fan boi VCs, me-to products, one trick apps, companies on pivot mode…
  • Bubbles are like snow flakes, there are no two alike, so we can conclude that this tech bubble I’d different from previous ones.

General Technologist

  • If Arthur Miller were alive today he would have written a sequel to Death of a Salesman called Death of a Social Media Marketing Ninja.
  • You know your service or product is successful if GOOG wants to buy you for a billion dollars, FB copies you, and if MSFT doesn’t get it.
  • Any lawmaker who proposes any bill related to technology should be able to correctly setup a wifi router, Facebook privacy settings, …
  • My iPhone knows too much about me. I think I want a dumb phone, instead of a scheming evil genius phone that is tracking my every move.
  • If TinyUrl was a utilities company it would force upgrade everybody to use smart grid meter and charge us extra to use green friendly links.
  • Twitter management seem to play musical chairs with titles. It seems like everyone at the company has had a turn at being CEO.
  • There are different degrees of open in open platforms, from marketing buzzword open to data portability open.
  • What I learned by reading Rework by 37signals: Emulate drug dealing celebrity chefs and up sale the by-products of what you do.

Apr 14 2011

Keep is Short and Simple

No one has time to read long rambling text. One of the great things about Twitter is that it has a 140 character limit, it forces people to be concise, precise, to the point. It is so much easier to follow someone twitter than someones blog. This is also true for corporate communication. Within a team, the best way to ask short question is through instant messages such as Skype. The one draw back to instant messaging systems is that people expect instant responses. But for quick yes or no questions this is the best approach. More detailed questions can be escalated to email. But always be short and precise in emails. Always stay on point when emailing someone. If you are making multiple points separate them to their own bullets or paragraphs. Don’t intermix different ideas in the same paragraph. Always outline and simplify key points to one line bullet points. When asking for something, be clear as to what you are requesting or asking and always outline what you have tried, research, or done prior to asking.

Effective communication is a skill. There are tools, habits, and best practices that can help maximize the results of your team communication efforts. One of my most effective tool in communicating is to keep to the Three Sentences practice. One way to successfully achieve reply within three sentences is to never answer the same question twice, to refer to existing documentation, wiki sites, and other resources.


Apr 11 2011

Hire Smart, Not Seniority

The folks of 37signals have written on Years of Irrelevance that years of experience is not a good enough indicator to hire people. Marissa Mayer and Joel Spolsky recommend to hire people that are smart and get things done. From my years of experience, and irrelevance, I believe this to be true. People that don’t get things done, will somehow delegate it to someone else that is most likely already getting her own work done. I my career I have seen people that don’t know how to get their stuff done (practice) but can talk a good game (theory) and are therefore promoted to manage people instead. The problem is that if they couldn’t get their work done, how can the manage others to do theirs? I’ve seen teams waste time, energy, and opportunity by not working smart, asking the wrong questions, and focusing on the what is not important.

Here is another more concrete example that I experienced this week. I recently closed a feature request and the bug tracking software we use emailed the requester back with the status. I immediately received a forward from the requester asking if the feature will be available in the next release. Replied replied that it would be available in the next beta release. I then got another email back asking a second question, if there was anything required to test this feature. I reply back with the location of the documentation, our testing procedures, and installation process. Then I get a another email saying, “Perfect. You rock!” With those words I knew I should brace myself for a screw up.

As predicted, right at 7:30 PM the feature request was rejected, no update or comments were given, just simply rejected. I immediately knew what the problem was, step in the release was not run, the database wasn’t migrated. This is what happens when you don’t hire smart. You will spend needless hours emailing back and forth one question at a time, back and forth like email ping pong.

If you don’t hire smart, you will find yourself repeating yourself in emails what is already in documentations, processes, systems. This is how you can easily spend all day in building, installing, testing and find out that you have to do it all over again because someone missed one step out of three.

Hire smart, not experience or seniority. Hire people that get stuff done, not have elaborate reason why it doesn’t get done. Hire those that work the smartest, not the hardest. Some people compensate working smart hours for long hours, they will stay long hours doing repetitive mind numbing tasks and not think of ways to automate, streamline, or reduce those tasks. You don’t want someone to reinvent the well, you need someone that makes it turn.

Reinventing the Wheel

Reinventing the Wheel by Doviende (http://www.flickr.com/photos/doviende/)