Whenever I read Hebrews 7 I wonder how the author comes up with a connection between Jesus and Melchizedek. I don’t doubt the connection, but it strikes me as an obscure reference. When the recipients of the letter read this, did they suddenly say, “A ha!” and understand the comparison, or did they scratch their head wondering who on earth Melchizedek was? (like I did) Continue reading
My team at John Deere ISG, as well as some teams I worked with at Canonical, practiced continuous deployment of software projects. This is a process that reduces the work needed to deploy software updates so that changes can be deployed frequently. In most ways this is a huge improvement that initially takes some work and discipline, but in the long run reduces the burden on your tech staff and increases users’ satisfaction because it enables fixes to be deployed quickly.
A common alternative is to do regular release cycles where you decide on a stack of features and fixes that will go out at regular intervals. For example, you may have 8 week or quarterly releases. In this scenario you dread show-stopper bugs because it means doing a hot-fix release out of cycle. If you release once or twice weekly this is close enough for most people to consider it continues deployment.
Despite the benefits of continuous deployment I think it’s important to also do regular feature releases. This gives you a point of communication with your users and enables you to keep them interested and excited in the product. Continue reading
After 6½ years I have left Canonical. From the initial release of Ubuntu 4.10 I have been a huge fan. When the Ubuntu Art Team started I was one of the first members. When there was a web re-design contest, I entered and won! I loved being part of the community and contributing to make Ubuntu better.
In 2006 when I had an opportunity to join Canonical as the Ubuntu.com webmaster it was like a dream come true. I jumped at the opportunity and I’m glad I did. There were about 40 people working at Canonical at the time and I loved the startup atmosphere. It would have been hard for me to imagine at that time ever wanting to leave, but alas, the time came. Continue reading
One of my coworkers did a presentation in our team meeting on a topic he’s passionate about, usability testing. It is also something I’m fascinated by as well.
If you’ve ever done user testing you’ve definitely observed all or most of these issues. I’m very familiar with them but until now didn’t know the terms to describe them.
The smart phone has changed the look of the mobile phone. Each new generation of devices pushes the envelope with new features and capabilities, to the point where they are now getting ridiculous. Today I saw mention that Samsung is releasing a phone with a flexible screen. Yeah, I’ve always wanted a bendable phone! Not. A few years ago there was a race to see who could make phones smaller and smaller, and now we’re trying to make them bigger and bigger! (case in point, that phone linked has a 5.5 inch screen).
I feel like the phone makers are mostly out of touch with what consumers actually need. Here are a few practical features I’d love to see in a phone: Continue reading
I should know better than to read the news right before bed. I know I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight without mentioning this. Daring Fireball author John Gruber posted a link to an article on MSNBC.com that studied 36 years of polling data and came to the conclusion that conservatives’ confidence in science as an institution has steadily declined in America. He’s right, it is a shame, but it would have helped if the “news” article wasn’t actually written as a PR stunt to sell a book by Chris Mooney. Continue reading
I just want to remind everyone in the USA that this is a special time in our political process. Election season is beginning soon, and furthermore, there is an incumbent in office. Therefore the opposing party’s #1 goal is to show that the existing president is doing a poor job. It is their only chance.
What this means is that every little mistake and unpopular decision, and believe me, everyone in authority makes mistakes and/or unpopular decisions, will be magnified as much as possible. Continue reading
Here in America and likely abroad you may have seen billboards or heard news that the world is ending May 21st. The scale of the advertising campaign proclaiming this event lends a little bit of credibility to it. A website erected for this event contains detailed arguments and expositions explaining how this man, Harold Camping, came to the date. Unfortunately Harold’s arguments have a very simple flaw that completely ruin this entire premise. Continue reading
There was a book that made a lot of ruckus a while back called “The four hour workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. The premise was that you could do some clever stuff and live comfortably now instead of waiting until you retire. I recently had an idea on a different way to enjoy the four hour work week, but first we need to revisit some basic principles of high school physics. Continue reading