If you guys will allow me I think I’ll talk about something other than Flash today. No I’ve not lost my marbles but there are a few other sessions from last weeks Developer! Developer! Developer! event that I’d like to talk about.
Both Liam Westley and Steve Sanderson presented sessions that were real eye openers for many attendees. What I found most interesting was that a lot of what they had to say was simply common sense. Unfortunately geeks tend not to apply common sense instead burying themselves in code or sticking to procedures that they’ve grown comfortable with.
Liam’s “Writing Software is Easy, Not Going Bust is the Hard Part” was a breath of fresh air with technology and frameworks being completely avoided. Instead the focus was on testing, logging, time/cost estimates, paperwork and sales pitches. I guarantee all attendees at one point or another during the hour felt slightly embarrassed when they realised that they (or their company) weren’t actually following many of simple practices outlined by Liam.
Things didn’t start too well for us. “Your goal as a software company is to create software that never causes that support phone to ring”. “Every time the phone rings you bleed cash”. MacDog was sweating by this point as he desperately fumbled about in his pocket trying to switch our support phone onto silent mode. Phew disaster averted. The talk then moved onto error reporting and logging, where again there were some great points for us to follow-up on.
Later on we covered the more mundane but no less important, with Liam going as far as suggesting you should eject people from meetings who haven’t bothered reading the documentation beforehand. Again, it’s common sense really as it leaves only those who are actually prepared and ultimately leads to a more productive meeting.
For me, his best tip was to always try and be the guy that gets to write the minutes. Why? Simple, no one bothers to read them and what is written in them tends to get set in stone. As Liam said, “Victory goes to those who write the minutes”.
As a company I think the processes and procedures we have in place at WeeWorld are extremely good, but it’s clear that there is still room for improvement. There are a few great things we took away from the session that we plan to discuss and take further. But what I found most interesting from the session was that much of what was said focused on just the small day-to-day tasks that everyone and every company has no reason for avoiding. It’s really all about discipline and a dash of common sense.
I strongly suggest you watch the video above of Liam’s presentation and take the time to read over his presentation slides complete with speaker notes.
I’m gonna talk a little about Steve Sanderson’s brilliant “Behaviour Driven Development” next time and then I promise I’ll get back to feverishly talking about Flash.