Snogblog Informal Musings on Formal Things


FFK10 Recap

Two weeks after my rather epic journey home from Germany (thanks Iceland...), and I am finally sitting down and writing my recap. FFK was an exceptionally good event, and I am massively impressed with the FlashForum community in Germany. Cologne (Köln) is a fantastic town, and I recommend it highly. I want to thank Marc Thiele and Sascha Wolter for having me come down for the week. And most importantly, thank you to everyone who came to my session. It's always great to have a full room. :)

My session, titled "Work:Flow" was a variant of the talk I had originally planned on giving. I ended up focusing a bit more on the interpersonal aspects of an organization and how they can aid or inhibit work. To those expecting a more detailed rundown of popular methodologies, I apologize.

Download slides (PDF)

I also promised a reading list, so here ya go!

Apprenticeship Patterns by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye

Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun

Design Thinking by Tim Brown (IDEO)

IDEO HCD (Human Centered Design) Toolkit

NASA Systems Engineering Handbook

IDEO Method Cards

Getting Real by 37Signals

Rework by 37Signals

Managing Humans by Michael Lopp

The Art of Agile Development by James Shore

That should be more than enough to keep you busy through the summer. If you have a book that I missed that you think fits well here, please post in the comments!


Why I Don’t Care About The HTML5 vs. Other Technologies Argument

So I was chatting with Seb Lee-Delisle this morning about the ongoing "HTML5 is better", "No, Flash is better", "No, my proprietary language I wrote in 3rd year CS at MIT is better" discussion that seems to never end. Now, this discussion has always rubbed me the wrong way, but I had never really been able to articulate it in a more intelligent manner than "Pelsor ANGRY! Pelsor SMAAAASH!" It wasn't until this morning that it all clicked together:

1. We all claim to be moving to some sort of iterative processes

2. We all claim to make this shift in order to make mistakes early, reduce overall costs, and increase overall quality

3. Why can't the choice of technology be an acceptable mistake that we iterate through?

It's ok to scrap CMS's, databases, server-side languages, source control systems, pretty much any other type of technology used in our work. Why not UI technology? I say, get started on your project in whatever technology you are most comfortable with, be ok with throwing one away, or two, or eight. In doing this, we learn more about the logical, technical and experiential problems of the solution, and with each step, the solution becomes more elegant, refined, and beautiful. We don't waste time by attempting to solve the business problem.

Of course I know that we have to worry about market penetration, solution lifespan, organizational politics, not to mention the cost of development. However, the sooner you start building something, the sooner the conversation becomes constructive and focused on what you are working on, and not speculation on what might or might not be.



Finally, I can say something official about it. I have been asked to speak at FOTB2010 for its five year anniversary!

According to the web, the traditional gift for a 5th anniversary is wood.

I doubt I'll be giving John any wood. ;)

I spoke at the very first FOTB, and have attended each year. It's a completely different kind of conference, one of the few to start and survive in Europe (the other being FFK, which I am speaking at in a week). There are so many great people speaking this year that to start listing them would be silly. I just suggest you look at the list. All I know is that I fully intend to reclaim my throne as Indian Leg Wrestling champion from Josh "The Tower" Hirsch, and struggle to figure out what to give Stacey Mulcahy for a gift this year.

Tickets go on sale in 2 weeks, I hope to see you there!