There has recently been much discussion about getting more women into computer programming roles – the case of the Google manifesto shows that what many us think of as outdated gender stereotypes about programmers are still alive and well in some circles. However, it wasn’t always the case that computer programming was considered a ‘male’ field. Early computer programming was dominated by women, and it was women who were seen as uniquely capable of being computer programmers. Among early computer pioneers were many women who made important contributions to computer science and programming and invented many of the concepts & models we continue to use today.
At some companies, designers and developers have little to no interaction with clients or customers. It’s not uncommon for the people working on a project to be walled off from clients by account managers or customer service. At Grio, every designer and developer is client facing, and everyone ends up doing some of the work that is traditionally done by an account manager, such as managing day to day contacts, relationship management, and responding to problems & issues.
I’ve recently made it one of my goals to learn more about UX and design. To that end, I read a book that was highly recommended by our Grio designers, The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, by Lean Buley. The book is written for people who are or want to be UX professionals, with a focus on those who either the only person in their company working on UX or who are in some way UX evangelists in their organizations. Although the intended audience of the book is UX professionals, there were also number of tips and ideas that a company like Grio can find useful. On many projects, especially when budgets and time are tight, Grio takes on the role of UX evangelist for our clients.
In the past few weeks I’ve been using a new tool from Adobe that has significantly streamlined my workflow. The tool is called Parfait, and it takes a few of the most annoying elements of front end web development and makes them extremely easy.
I recently reviewed a SQL query that was returning duplicate results. Since I expected, and needed, a single result from the query this was a problem. Here’s an explanation of why this bug occurred, and several different ways it can be resolved.
Every few months I come across the need to add shadows to frontends, and it seems each time I have to go back and look up how these things work. I always take to the internet for a brush up on box shadows, but I seem to find more information than I’m looking for – I just want a quick cheat sheet, not the War and Peace of box-shadowing. So here’s the cheat sheet I’ll be using from now on to create the shadows I need.
Whether or not they follow other precepts of Agile development, many software companies have implemented some form of a ‘scrum’ – a short daily stand-up in which team members report on their current progress. A well run scrum can be an extremely valuable communication asset for team members. A poorly run scrum can be an annoying and time consuming hassle that turns teams off of scrum. And even though teams are supposed to be “self-organizing”, in my experience a good scrummaster is always important for a good scrum outcome. Below I’ve outlined a few common problems for scrums, and things the scrummaster can do to keep things on track.