Dan McKinley's article on choosing boring solutions, although not exactly new anymore, has been a welcome reminder for me to revisit the topic of of using boring solutions and keeping things simple. Dan makes the point that "adding technology to your company comes with a cost" or as I stated in my own article on this subject: "The elephant in the room is: There’s an opportunity cost to everything." Most choices come with a trade-off. If you decide to use a technology for the ...Read more
The Importance of Failing Successfully - Wesley Grubbs - btconfDUS2018 from beyond tellerrand on Vimeo.Read more
If, like me, you're an independent consultant or freelancer I can highly recommend the podcast The Freelancer's Show, which is about the business of consulting and freelancing in the IT / software development industry. More than 300 episodes in it covers a wide range of subjects that are vital if you want to run a successful and sustainable software consulting business. Some of the questions the show tries to answer or at least help the listeners with are: How do I position myself?
How ...Read more
As something of a follow-up on my article on using boring solutions from two weeks ago I'd like to point you to a blog post by Justin Etheredge, cofounder of software development company Simple Thread: Software Complexity Is Killing Us In this post Justin outlines in which ways software development has become easier in the past few decades and also points out the ways in which it hasn't. Most of the complexity of software applications accumulates in the layer that deals with business processes. ...Read more
Often when working with both startups and project teams at larger, more seasoned companies I encounter a variation of the not invented here syndrome. This usually starts with the well-intentioned idea that in order to build the actual product you need ancillary services A, B and C in order for the product to work. However, more often than not instead of building the 'perfect' solution for your product yourself it might be a good idea to take a step back and think about ...Read more
From the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: 3. Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to.
35. Peace is good for business.
125. You can't make a deal if you're dead.
... In a recent online discussion involving ethics somebody only somewhat jokingly said something along the lines of "Most people only abide by the Rules of Acquisition anyway." and I thought to myself: Would that really be so bad? In case you don't know him, this handsome gentleman is Quark, bar ...Read more
At last year's Web Summit in Dublin I came across CoderDojo, a community that organizes free programming clubs for young people. Originally founded in Cork by entrepreneurs James Whelton and Bill Liao, CoderDojo is a volunteer-led 'grass roots'-type organization that promotes teaching programming to young people in order to support kids by giving them valuable skills that allow them to create stuff such as useful tools, products and art. At the same time efforts like this help tackle the shortage of people ...Read more
Ten days ago I published a survey for IT freelancers asking various questions about how they approach marketing and sales. As promised here are the results of the survey. Thanks a lot to everybody who participated: The survey was filled out by 31 freelancers, 22 of whom came via a link both posted on several forums and emailed to personal contacts directly. 8 participants clicked on the survey on Facebook while 1 filled it out on this website. Save for the last ...Read more
In October I was at this year's Fronteers conference in Amsterdam. Fronteers is a front-end developers association that organises local events throughout the year but is most well-known for this - compared to others - small (around 500 visitors) but all the more exciting conference. The event sports a familiar atmosphere and a broad range of first-class speakers presenting about all sorts of front-end web development-related topics. The videos of this year's talks are now online. A particularly interesting talk was the ...Read more