But unlike walking, where there really is a developmentally appropriate age to learn to do it, the idea that there is a “right” time to learn to code (or most anything else) is a construct — a creation of our own determination to hold ourselves back.
I’ve long felt that having bad metrics is often worse than having no metrics at all.
I grabbed the “Learning Python” book and walked straight home.
This time, I wasn’t excited; I was terrified.
If I didn’t learn to code, we were done. I would have to crawl back into the world of finance. I’d have to tell all my friends and family that I had given up, that I had completely failed.
How to get great support as a technical user. Solid set of tips on getting effective support. From Wynn Netherland at Github.
Working in support you’ll find no shortage of frustrated people. Less common, but not uncommon, are the people who are frustrated and passionately angry.
The people who express passionate anger are frequently the same ones who spend unbelievable amounts of time with your product. Your best customers can be your most vocal critics.
For these people, your product is central to their ability to complete a certain task. Compromise their ability to effectively do that and you’ll see frustration boil over.
The thing is, these people love your product. Many use it for hours every day. Your product’s bugs and unwelcome changes tarnish that love with unmet expectations. They make these people want to scream at you.
If you work in support, this also means a passionately angry person is rarely angry with you, personally. It’s the product that is frustrating them. You’re just the closest thing they have to that. Welcome to the front lines. Time to grow some thicker skin.
The upside to all of this is that if you can find the task someone is trying to accomplish you can solve their frustration. Find the task they want to do. Eliminate the roadblocks to getting it done. Make everything about it faster. Walk away with a happy, and no longer frustrated, customer.
The next time someone writes to you in all caps calling you unspeakable things, take a moment to step back. Do more than just answer the question they’re asking. Think of the task they’re trying to finish and help with that. Nothing solves anger quite like getting things done.
Checkboxes that kill. Great post about the dangers in complex, customizable settings. Two key takeaways: regularly audit how people are using your product and consider whether more than 2% of your users will use a setting.
Dyson: We have created this expanding computational universe, and it’s open to the evolution of all kinds of things. It’s cycling faster and faster, and it’s way, way, way more than doubling in scale every year. Even with the help of Google and YouTube and Facebook, we can’t consume it all. And we aren’t really aware what this vast space is filling up with. From the human perspective, computers are idle 99 percent of the time, just waiting for the next instruction. While they’re waiting for us to come up with instructions, more and more computation is happening without us, as computers write instructions for each other. And as Turing showed mathematically, this space can’t be supervised. As the digital universe expands, so does this wild, undomesticated side.
Wired: If this is true, what’s the takeaway?
Dyson: Hire biologists! It doesn’t make sense for a high tech company to have 3,000 software engineers but no biologists.
Dissection of an Acorn 4 launch. Really great debrief of launching Acorn 4. The App Store trick to create a simultaneous launch was a clever hack.
Listen to your users more than the press. Don’t get sucked into the gravity hole between you and your competition. Ruthlessly run your own path, not someone else’s.
Interesting lessons from the co-founder of Gowalla.