I’m always amazed that patents are granted for sitting on your bum and doing nothing but writing down the bleedin’ obvious. There’s a kerfuffle in the mobile development world about gathering user information from a form in a mobile app. That’s the bleedin’ obvious and now, apparently, Lodsys are patenting their ideas and seeing who they can intimidate to extract cash. Now, as we all know, ideas are worthless without the skills to implement them. These developers have the skills and the backbone to get off the couch and implement great ideas and others are starting to notice the free ride they could get. Why are patents granted with no proof of implementation? Patents such as these are nothing more than a tax on innovation.
The following video follows Dan Pink’s talk about motivating creative people and how money doesn’t seem to work. You need AMP (Dan’s term) Driven Design (AMPDD – my terminology):
- Autonomous. Let clever people be in charge of their direction, within the greater strategic flow.
- Mastery. They will become masters of their discipline and care deeply about what they do.
- Purpose. There is meaning in their work. Developers hate having their projects chucked in the bin due to bad management.
As William McKnight said in the 1930s:
“Hire good people and leave them alone” (more…)
Every project has one. The sniper. They’re the person, usually a manager of some sort, who, by dint of them not being on the project, the project must therefore be crap and they let everyone on the project know that by hanging round things like the coffee machine or the corridor, or the toilet. The conversation usually goes along the lines:
“hey now! I see you’re on the Groove System Nine project. They’re using the Pod differentiator classes from Innovation Inc by all accounts. Not what I’d do. Nah. No idea why they’re using them. I’d use an open source alternative. Loads of them around. OpenPod. Check it out. Not heard of that?”
“No. Thanks for the heads up. What is the OpenPod?”
“aaaah. Well, you’ll just have to download it and play around. Not my place to say really…”
Sounds of the hand dryer, lots of throat clearing and the toilet door opening and closing. (more…)
Sometimes the best way I’ve found to get started on a small project is to start coding. Not on the project itself but on a side project. An agile spike if you like. It’s where I learn a new programming language or technology. I often start simple on the side and build up functionality as I go. When the main project needs a feature added, I’ll sometimes implement something similar on the side to see how it works. I’ll pare it down to the bare essentials and write a test for it to probe its functionality and when I’m happy I understand the feature’s technicalities I’ll migrate the code and tests into the main project. Over time, as I become more familiar with the technology area or language that was new to me, the side project falls away as I no longer need that level of experimentation. The tests do the job of the side project from then on. (more…)
iOS5 is coming and there are a couple of things I like about it. The first is PC Free. When the iPad came out I took an immediate interest as it seemed to be an iOS device for the normal person. Wrong. You need a hulking great Mac to get it to work. It’s touted as a mobile device, as are all iOS devices but they all need a monster of a machine back at base to make them work. I remember walking into the Apple store in Glasgow, finding one of the myriad salespeople and asking if the iPad needed a Mac, then walking straight back out. Apple mobile devices are the equivalent of the first mobile phone. That’s the phone on the left, nice and slim and portable but look what you need to make it work! Apple products are for an Apple lifestyle I’ve always said. I used to have a tiny Creative MuVo mp3 player that took a single AAA battery that lasted for weeks and when the iPod came out I had a quick look and went back to my MuVo. You see, I’m a mountain guide as well as programmer and the Apple lifestyle just doesn’t work for me. You need a grid power source to maintain an Apple mobile device. Either a plug socket or a huge Mac, neither of which you find in the mountains. So Apple products have never really appealed to me, especially as they’re so fragile and are useless once the juice runs out. Plus I’m not that keen on having the phone used as an entertainment centre in the wilds when it’s the phone you’ll have to rely on in an emergency, only to find all that mp3-ing has drained the battery and it’s turned into a useless lump of plastic. (more…)
I’ve got ruby-1.9.2-p180 running under rvm and p290 has just come out. How to upgrade?
rvm get head
rvm upgrade ruby-1.9.2-p180 ruby-1.9.2-p290
rvm ruby-1.9.2-p290 --default