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Chapter 6 September 22, 2008

Filed under: Getting Real — hikaru011 @ 9:39 am
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Race to Running Software

Running a software is said to be the best way to build momentum. The very first day, ideas should be formalized. You can even skip details, do less and even take short cuts as long as it can runs the software faster. “Running a software is real.”

The Real Thing Leads to Agreement

When a group of different people set out to try and find out what is harmonious…their opinions about it will tend to converge if they are mocking up full-scale, real stuff. Of course, if they’re making sketches or throwing out ideas, they won’t agree. But, if you start making the real thing, one tends to reach agreement.

Christopher Alexander, Professor of Architecture


Rinse and Repeat

You don’t need to aim for perfection on the first try because you know that you will do it again later. Learn from feedback and comments and then start perfecting your work.

From idea to implementation

In any projects, you definitely start with ideas. You think of a subject or topic. You let details flow into your mind. Together with your team, you are brainstorming.

When these ideas are being planned like how will you do t, when, where, etc. That is the time that you are sketching your ideas or you are now starting to plan it.

When creating a HTML screens, you should get something real posted so that anyone can see what it looks like on screen.

The coding part is where you code your ideas.

During this whole process remember to stay flexible and expect multiple iterations. You should feel free to throw away the deliverable of any particular step and start again if it turns out crappy. It’s natural to go through this cycle multiple times.


Avoid Preferences

Preferences are also evil because they create more software. More options require more code. And there’s all the extra testing and designing you need to do too. You’ll also wind up with preference permutations and interface screens that you never even see. That means bugs that you don’t know about: broken layouts, busted tables, strange pagination issues, etc.

We may think that customers see preferences as a blessing but the truth is, for a customer, having a lot of option are a headache. Be direct and straight. Just make a decision.

“Done!”

Done means you have completed something. It means something has already been accomplished. They said that think of it as a magical word. Yes, maybe because now your work is fully completed. It does not necessarily mean that you make all your decisions and work right. For now it may work but as soon as you realized that there is something wrong, you can actually go back and revise it.

Accept that decisions are temporary. Accept that mistakes will happen and realize it’s no big deal as long as you can correct them quickly. Execute, build momentum, and move on.

Test in the wild

There’s no substitute for real people using your app in real ways. Get real data. Get real feedback. Then improve based on that info.

Shrink your time

In doing your job, try to shrink or break down time frames into smaller chunks. Keep dividing it into smaller and smaller details and until you can handle it well.

 

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