Which Estimate Should I Give? One thing that is striking amongst different engineering cultures is the range of approaches to scheduling accuracy: How tolerant is the organization of schedule slips? And therefore how aggressive are engineering planners encouraged to be?
CurrentC and the Problem of Consortia Two friends — both evangelical acolytes of the Church of Apple — have been talking this week about the news that ApplePay and Google Wallet have been turned off by retailers who are backing a not-yet-released payment alternative called CurrentC. (And really, how dare RiteAid try to grab a few cents from each transaction? Clearly… View Article
Four Things to Consider About Code Re-Use Software developers love writing new code. There’s something thrilling and exciting about designing creative, efficient solutions to new problems. Given the chance, many would rather write something new than reuse existing code, but despite what developers want, rewriting an entire codebase is not always good for business. At the other end of the spectrum, most… View Article
What Does the Aereo Decision Mean for Innovation? I was interviewed by Xconomy today in a piece entitled “Could Fallout from Aereo Ruling Have “Chilling Effect On Startups?” Here’s a little more analysis than what was covered in the Xconomy article. The question of how the decision would affect innovation was raised immediately after the ruling by Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s CEO, when he… View Article
On the Importance of Hiring Excellence I came across the article “Why the “Next Silicon Valley” is Always Silicon Valley” during my lunchtime reading today and found it really interesting. I would summarize it — obviously not justly! — as follows: Excellence is a snowball rolling down hill. Excellence attracts more excellence in a virtuous circle. Getting the snowball started is… View Article
Heartbleed Wasn’t a Single Bug The heartbleed bug in OpenSSL has been all over the news. XKCD perhaps had the most succinct explanation. I’d like to take a deeper look at this bug and the process that allowed it to be created. Catastrophic failures are often caused by a chain of bad decisions or errors that finally result in a… View Article
Do Something Hard We have recently had several prospective customers approach us who are self-funded startups. Each of these customers was hoping we could help them develop an embedded product to the point where it could be sold on Kickstarter. And each of them wanted us to get them through some hard technical challenge that stands between them… View Article
Joy’s Law and the Problem of Engineering Design One meme that has been making the rounds recently is Joy’s Law, supposedly named after Bill Joy, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems: “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” It’s a cute aphorism, one that I hadn’t heard six months ago (although the Wikipedia page linked… View Article
How to Find the Right CTO I’ve got a new article up at Xconomy, sharing some thoughts about how to find the right Chief Technology Officer for your startup: I’ve got a strong bias that you are likely to need at least one member of your founding team who is a strong technology visionary and evangelist. Assuming you’re an entrepreneur with… View Article
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