X Notes

Don't be an Agile Fanatic
September 2016

Agile is not for everyone.

Take our team for example. We have 5 people, one of them is a team lead. We basically are 5 DRIs (Direct Responsible Individual) of some projects. But it doesn’t mean we don’t need to talk to each other. We talk to each other constantly because we sit next to each other. We just don’t need to collaborate very closely like normal development teams. By the way, a well designed architecture do a whole lot of more communication for itself. I found that it is efficient enough for us to understand the situation over all. Of cause we still need a meeting where we all sit together to clear some confusions occasionally, especially when there is a big change upstream that will alter our original roadmap. But that doesn’t happen every week, or month, and it shouldn’t. (If it does, we have a more serious issue to deal with.) We do iterate, but we iterate in our own pace. There isn’t a weekly/fortnightly meeting sitting in our calendars. IMO, we are agile in our way. It all comes down to communication. My point is: Agile methodology is nothing more than a collection of Good Ideas, you can pick some of them that apply to your team, just don’t build a religion around it.

Detail Matters
April 2016

Whenever some friends who just converted to Mac from Windows ask me questions like: Where is the start menu? How to I open “my computer”? Hey, I downloaded the app, I double clicked it, and it just open, how do I install it? I feel sorry for them. It is just so sad.

Recently I got into debate with one of my colleague, about a minor design difference between Windows and OS X. On Windows, you can right click anywhere, desktop, or a folder within file explorer, and select “new file” in the menu to create a text file, then you can give it a name, then you got an empty file with 0 bytes. Then you can double click to open it with a text editor start working on it. You can’t do it on OS X. It sounds like a good feature, or at least a convenient shortcut to quickly create a file. But really think about it, what do you need an empty file for? Your next action after you created the file is always going to be opening it with a text editor. So let’s count: find the place -> right click -> left click on new file -> type in file name -> hit enter to confirm -> double click the file (assuming you have the right file type association, otherwise you have to: right click the file -> open with -> sublime text). So at least 6 steps to create and open an empty file in a particular place. Yeah! What about: open the text editor -> start typing -> save with name and location. So 3 steps to create a file and write the content into it and save it in a particular place. So I would take that menu option out if I was making the decision.