The Illustrated Primer

Category: Management

Your First 90 Days on the Job

You just landed the technology executive job of your dreams, so what do you do next?  Do you concentrate on the dysfunctional engineering/architectural environment? Do

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Ode to The Code Monkey

What you lack are not more lines of code, rather it’s architecture and a road. To substitute quality with speed, Is the motto of the code monkey creed….

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Designed for Humans

After participating in and leading many painful software design meetings, I have come to the realization that the best way to sell the top design idea is to first share some of the alternative and inferior ones.

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Crafting Great Software Features Part-1

Most failures in software usability can be attributed to poor decisions at the executive level, which are promulgated due to a culture of silence. Developers and designers should be encouraged to think critically about their work and be provided with official channels for expressing their opinions (in a non polemic manner).

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Developers Just Wanna Have Fun

The greatest engineering feats are the ones we don’t notice. The hallmark of a great designer is his ability to translate complexity into simplicity. The automatic transmission in a car represents significantly more engineering effort than a manual transmission, but it positively transforms the average user experience. The best consumer electronics always focus on hiding complexity, not showcasing it.

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Drinking on the Job and Other Vices

Hobbes observed that life under the rule of the mob is “nasty, brutish, and short”. Similarly, life in a startup modeling itself after a society such as the “Lord of the Flies” is wretched and hardly short enough.

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It’s Good Enough for Me

I seized the opportunity to respond in kind with a rival French maxim. I quoted Voltaire: “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien” (the best is the enemy of the good). My companion was startled and said he didn’t understand what I meant.

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Political Science 101

Not satisfied with this explanation, I proceeded to enumerate various doomsday accident scenarios. The principal’s otherwise cheerful demeanor suddenly darkened and after a quick and nervous glance at her watch she said that it was unfortunate that our meeting had to end so abruptly, but that she had to run to an important conference.

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The Vatican Loves Me, it Loves Me Not

So, on a recent trip to Rome I decided to seize the opportunity and drop by the Vatican to pay my homage to Mr. Galileo’s statue. Not being familiar with the neighborhood, I consulted one of the Swiss guards for guidance. The soldier, in a somewhat disinterested voice, informed me that there was no statue of Galileo in the Vatican.

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The Death March

To those unfamiliar with the term, a death march is not a walk through Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones. Rather, it is a reference to a development project where requirements exceed the realistic deliverables by at least 50 percent.

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The Illustrated Primer