Category Archives: The Business

The management of people and money, and the choices that lead to the creation of new wealth (or don’t.)

Surgical Team or Motley Crew of Adventurers?

The Dungeons and Dragons party is, I believe, a much better metaphor for the modern programming team than Mills’ and Brook’s surgical team. In what has been called the geekiest thing every written, I catalog some different character classes and explain their corollary roles in a web development team. I suspect that other types of programming teams have similar roles. …Read More

Agile Scrum Sucks (but so do the alternatives)

Software development is not like manufacturing.

Chances are wildly against getting any software product out on time or under budget. My heart goes out to project managers and executives who are tasked with controlling the chaos. I understand why many of them might grasp at ideologies that promise to solve the problems, but Scrum rarely helps the odds.

If you’re doing software development right, you’re probably doing Agile wrong. …Read More

What Makes a Good Web developer, and how can you tell?

Luckily, I’ve never been a manager with people who report up to me. I’ve been a tech lead on a few teams, and quite frankly, I find that I prefer to be doing the coding than directing it. Managing is about 10% more money for 100% more work that is 100% less fun. …Read More

Real World Advice for Fledgling Web Developers

A fellow front-end engineer here at Yahoo! asked for bits of real-world advice that we would give to up-and-coming front-end engineering students. He’s doing a talk at a school, and was curious about what we’ve learned. It struck me as a perfect idea for a blog post.

Any other front-end professionals out there? What would be your pieces of advice? …Read More

Whiting out ads: Is AdBlock even Necessary?

Some people are blocking Firefox users because they feel that the AdBlock Plus plugin is “tantamount to theft.” This attitude is woefully wrongheaded—even without the plugin, you can’t stop Banner Blindness. …Read More

The New Spam: Broken Unsubscribe Methods

Want to not piss off your users? Don’t send them crap unless they really really want it, and make it easy for them to stop getting it. Here’s how mass-mailing subscriptions should work. Unfortunately, it seems that they rarely do. …Read More