Smoke Signals

Friday, October 21, 2005

What the Flock?

So here it is, the browser that my friend Bryan did the interface for. It is nice. Actually I am using it to post this. Weee. Pretty cool bro!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I love it when I’m right!

Which isn't very often :) Hah

Apple IS selling a video iPod. That is so friggin cool. They also have 2000 music videos available for download. Like I said before, I probably won’t be able to afford one but I can drool.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Agile Software Developers Help Please!

I have been reading about Agile Software Development. Starting with The Rails Book. I mean look at the name. My problem is applying it to my current workplace. We already struggle with scope-creep and clients causing projects to drag on and on. Granted some of it is our fault but… Our clients sometimes don’t get back to us on “iterations” or emails/phone calls we send to them for weeks.

One of the Agile Principles is “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.” I agree with that but… here are arguments against being so “agile”. These apply to my current employer but I am sure others are in the same situation.

#1 Scope: Changes in requirements late in development lead to scope creep or scrapping of hours and hours of work. Regardless of your programming framework if you spend 20 hours on something and the customer changes requirements they still have to pay for that time. I know the choice of framework or language can make those changes less painful but it is still an issue. This brings me to my next point…

#2 Time Estimation: If we know the project will be “agile” and all of the above mentioned things can change and we welcome such change. How do you accurately estimate a project? I can see that notifying the client of such a change of scope and time we spent on previous requirements is now null and void is part of the agile process. The problem is, every client I have ever come across throws a fit when you go over estimated time even if it is from their inability to reach a decision about functionality. I have seen how quickly a indecisive client has spiraled a project out of control adding this and that and changing things here and waaay down there. Then, on top of it all they wonder why it took so long and why does it cost $$$ more than we proposed. No matter how much communication we have with them. They seem to have “temporary memory loss” when it comes to the $$ on our time. No matter how many emails, change lists etc. we have to show them.

So for all you Agile dudes who have a lot of real-world practice with it. I would love to hear from you.

I am also learning the agile way so bear with me

Monday, October 10, 2005

Friends like this...

I am envious of Bryan . He IM's me after getting back from Web 2.0 Conference telling me about his lunch with David - (RubyOnRails, loudthinking), Waxy - (Waxy,upcoming) , John - (Daring Fireball) and some other Playas in web 2.0. People I look up to. Bryan is the man, he has always been one of the best designers I have ever seen. He tells me he did UI for 3 of the not-so-many demo'd apps at Web 2.0. Flock, Joyent and Wink. I couldn't imagine how that felt. Bryan is the "Rock Star" of design and Web 2.0 right now. Kudos to you bro!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Haha, what did I tell ya

I have speculated about this before. I think a video player would be so damn sweet. Not like I could afford one hah! But still, I can drool...

The whole story.

Beta, Ajax, Web 2.0

Ahh buzz words. It is pretty funny seeing all these companies throwing them around. It reminds me of circa 1999 when companies were throwing buzz words around to get investors to bleed money for them.

Isn't the point of creating a web app or any app to make it easy to use and useful? Why should anyone care if it is Beta or uses Ajax yada yada? Shouldn’t it work intuitively? If you aren’t designing apps that way in the first place no amount of buzz words will amount to shit. Technology should be transparent. My mom doesn’t care about that crap, she uses something to get things done. She doesn’t want the interface to get in the way, she doesn’t care if something is “nifty or cool”. This has nothing to do with 2.0 it should have been and should always be the goal.

People love memes, they make things buzz-worthy. Like you see in genre movies like Top Gun, or Twister. Remember how we learned what an F5 was. It’s totally laughable. It is like being a part of a perceived clique. I think the ones who adopt it and run with it are the ones who don’t get it. Like sales people, they love to throw those things around like they are “In the know”.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gonna move this bad boy

Not like I get a bunch of people reading this blog but I am going to move it to its own domain. That and a bunch of other crap I have going on should take up the rest of my god-given time. Hah!