The First Time I Saw The Web

in history, Innovation, Software/Web development

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the web, here’s my story. I was a senior at CMU in ’93/’94 and for my computer science classes I spent many long hours in the computer labs, called clusters, working on programming projects or doing other schoolwork. Many of my friends hung out in clusters and it […]

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How WordPress.com is made

in Design, Software/Web development

Some of you know, in addition to my writing and speaking work, I work as a team lead for WordPress.com, managing a team of developers and designers.  It’s an amazing place to work, and I’ve given a few talks about how we make design and engineering decisions. You can read a popular post I wrote […]

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How Private are Facebook Executives?

in Pop Culture, Software/Web development

Thanks to the New York Times, I got a chance to ask Elliot Schrage, VP of Public Policy at Facebook, about his own settings on FB. I’d like to ask Elliot, and all the senior staff at Facebook, what are the privacy settings for their own personal Facebook accounts? Can you share the settings (not […]

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Gears of War 3: My wishlist for Horde

in Design, Software/Web development

I own an XBOX 360, but only play a handful of games. Most games I’ve tried these last years are so annoying in their UX/gameplay, that despite amazing graphics they are a chore to play. Since I don’t like chores I refuse, no matter what reviews, sales or friends say. That is, except for two: […]

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The new browser wars: an analysis

in Software/Web development, web browsers

A billion years ago I worked on web browsers. I’ve written about them before, and got myself into trouble here and there for what I’ve said. I get asked often what I think about Chrome, or an innovation analysis of Opera, or this or that, and it’s a good time to look at what’s been […]

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Why New Systems Fail: an interview

in Management, Software/Web development

My friend Phil Simon published a book in 2008 called Why New Systems Fail.  The book explores the many reasons why projects, mainly IT projects, fail and what a wise person can do to prevent and recover from these situations. It’s a hard nosed, low to the ground book, which tend to be my favorites.  […]

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The end of the killer feature

in Business, Design, Software/Web development

At The Economist Ideas Economy event Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, in an excellent talk about open source software, proclaimed the end of the killer feature. He asked the packed audience of high profile influentials how many people use Firefox, and how many of them have a plugin installed – and a good percentage of […]

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Cloud Computing is a bad metaphor

in Software/Web development

At a certain point you hear a name for something so many times it looses any real meaning. It’s just a name. Kleenex, as a word, doesn’t mean anything.  Neither does Häagen-Dazs. But over time words just become labels and we forget their origins or initial meanings. But in the case of Cloud Computing, I’m […]

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McConnell’s 10 deadly sins of estimation

in Management, Software/Web development

Hi there. I’m now back from my ramble through Scandinavia. If you were at my seminar in Milwaukee (we had many questions on estimates and schedules), or struggle with bad estimates somewhere else in the world, you’re in luck. Next week my friend Steve McConnell is doing a free webcast on the ten deadly sins […]

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New O’Reilly book: Beautiful Teams

in Management, Software/Web development

There’s a new book, soon to be released from O’Reilly called Beautiful teams, edited by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene that i want to give you a heads up about. I’m a huge believer in teams. Team sports. Team players. Team leaders. It’s all about teams. Show me a great project and I’ll show you […]

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How to deal with jerk programmers

in mailbag, Management, Software/Web development

Christian recently asked, in a comment on how project managers get power: How did you work with those infamous programmer-jerks? How did you handle rough inner team situations? The best place to start is empathy. Why is someone acting like a jerk? There are basic psychological reasons for this: Either they are insecure, unhappy, or […]

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Top 100 blogs for software developers

in Software/Web development

Jurgen Appelo over at Noop.nl put together a list of the top 100 blogs for software developers. My blog, the one you’re reading, slides in at #18, which is surprising given how little I write purely about software development these days. Happy to be on the list – and if you now realize you hate […]

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How to run a bug bash

in Software/Web development

Running a bug bash is a dirty secret of software development. You won’t read about them in software engineering classes, or in agile method workshops. But some managers, when overwhelmed with undocumented bugs and not sure what else to do, demand the whole team stop what they’re doing and get as many bugs into the […]

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WordPress 2.5: Review

in Software/Web development, ui review, usability

Last week I upgraded to the latest version of WordPress. I’m a huge WordPress fan, I love what these guys do, and I was psyched to see what they’d done this time around. Total time: 9 minutes. This was end to end, from downloading their software, to reading instructions, to the moment I was able […]

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