It's not all web design and Apps you know! One of my other passions is competitive road cycling. I dabbled as a teenager and have fond memories of riding a 40mile charity ride with an old school friend. I also did a very short stint riding with my University Team although got thourougly demotivated by the ability gap between myself and the core team members. And lets face it given the choice between the many other social activities whilst at University compared with hours on the road in appalling weather getting thourougly destroyed by much stronger riders, the cycling got forgotten. Roll forward 20 years, marriage, two kids and far too comfortable a life style and something needed to be done.
Mostly about things that code
This is where you'll find a taste of the projects, tools and processes that I use for both work at E-scape and things of personal interest. Throw in an occasional thought or commentary and there you have it.
Let's get one thing out in the open right away - I'm completely opposed to outsourcing to places like India. The problem is that I am constantly harangued by colleagues or peers claiming it is not that bad, or that our industry is just too expensive so we must outsource or become irrelevant, and many other pro outsourcing arguments.
The world is full of websites. Every man and his dog has a website these days. Along with this ubiquity has developed the belief that building websites is easy. This is perpetuated by the plethora of "mates - sisters - nephews who can build you a website for a few hundred quid". Websites have been totaly devalued by a large proportion of the client base and with outsourching to countries with cheap labour costs there are plenty of semi-professional agencies who can deliver websites for peanuts. I have a question though; is it true that websites are easy and should be cheap?
If the Gartner Hype Cycle is to be believed, then micro blogging is heading firmly into the 'trough of disillusionment'. The hype has gone off the boil and the reality of unsubstantiated revenue models come to the fore and the risk of total collapse is high.
One of the biggest challenges I face is making sure we have the systems and processes in place to make E-scape as efficient as possible. Back in the day when we were six in a back room this was not such a big deal as everyone pretty much managed their own workflow and got on with things. Roll forward a few years and we are getting on for twenty over two floors and four teams and things are not so easy. Don't get me wrong, just because everyone used to look after themselves didn't mean we used to get it right and now can't becasue its all grown out of hand. No. We were rubbish back then - it was just easier to hide with smaller and fewer projects. Now there is just too much in play with too many players so things can go spectacularly wrong if you don't have a handle on things.
As a developer I'm always trying to improve, be it the quality of my work, the efficiency or the innovation contained within it. With every piece of work there is an end goal, a set of features or functions that must be delivered. There are nearly always several ways to achieve this end goal, some better than others but lets assume for the moment that I always choose the better way (nearly always). The question is at what point am I finished, at what point are the features or functions delivered? It is nearly always true that a solved problem might be solved a little better. The better solution might not always be the best solution. The code could always be that little bit better. Things could always be a little bit more perfect.
Our App team has been busy over the last month not only working on the existing Lost Kidz App and its continued evolution, but also on its new sister App Lost Petz. The American Humane Association has been a strong supporter of the Lost project from very early on and with their dual role of supporting both Child and Animal welfare in the US a Pet specific version of the App is very important to them. However the process of rebranding Lost Kidz for Pets was not as simple as slapping on a new logo and pushing it out to Apple.
I have been a developer for a long time, other than a break for a few years to pursue a family business I have been at it for the best part of 20 years. Obviously there have been immense changes in technology and approach over that time, but at the same time there are still a number of constants mostly in approach, thinking and attitude towards work.
Why forcing a technology solution to fix your workflow is a waste of time and money
A conversation that seems to crop up on a fairly regular basis is one that I am sure most of you are familiar with. It goes along the lines of...
In simple terms, what is a CMS?
First of all it might be worthwhile defining what we mean by CMS or more completely, a Content Management System. For the purposes of this entry we will limit ourselves to website systems, so in that arena, a CMS is a web application used to manage the content of a website.