Monthly Archives: December 2013

“Our project has been 90% complete for a year now…”

“Our project has been 90% complete for a year now…”

We have a running joke in my office about people/project who are “90% complete”.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve talked to a client who says “Yeah, I hired this guy like a year ago.  He said it would take 4 months to make my web app, but here we are still not 100%.  We’re like 90% done, we just need that little push to get us to 100%”.  We take a quick look at their application (say e-commerce) and find out you can’t manage products, check out a cart, sign up for a user account.  Very far from 90% indeed.

Or clients with a WordPress theme jam packed with Lorem Ipsum, and stock photos.  Not to mention on their live URL, causing SEO issues.

90%?  Suurrrreeee…

What people don’t realize is that software is never 100%.  You’ll never make it to 100%.  No software that I know of was released at version 1 and has never changed.  It’s constantly being updated.  Tweaked, fixed, broken, you name it.  What owners of websites/web applications need to realize is that your project is an ongoing deal that will need constant attention, updates, etc.  Things change.  Business relationships, sources of data, needs of the business.  As business changes, so will your site/application.

I used to think I could sell someone a site/application, shake hands at the end of the project and we both walk away happy.  After 10+ years of development I’ve learned a few things.  One of those things is that you become personally invested in a project for the life of the project.   I have some software applications 3-5+ years old, still chugging along.  Written with horribly designed, non object-orientated code, but running.

I now know every website/web application I touch has the potential to stick with me for years.  The client could potentially use it for years.  It makes you think twice when you write code.  You want the system to make sense to the “next guy”.  Sometimes that “next guy” is future you.  I’m sure future programmer me, would fire current me because I’ll learn more, change my ways, adapt to ever changing technologies.

I also learned that there is no 100%.  You can be stable for some time, days, weeks, months, years, but there will be some need for attention in the future.  We know consider all of our projects 90% complete, and we plan to work perceptually on it.  Knowing that nothing can ever be 100% done in web.

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Understanding the Z-Layout in Web Design

Understanding the Z-Layout in Web Design

I had been using the “Z-Layout” unknowingly for some time now.  It just felt more natural.  Now that I understand the reasoning behind it I’ll definitely try to push the concept more.

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Google Just Made Rap Genius Disappear

Google Just Made Rap Genius Disappear

Looks like Google has completely removed a site from their indexes again.  There are regulations on what Google can remove, but this article brings up a good point.  How do they prevent personal level removal requests?

What if executives start pursuing personal vendettas via the search process? Back in the old days of the telephone book, I take it that Ma Bell wouldn’t have been allowed to just make some particular business “disappear” from the white and yellow pages.

 

This shows how dangerous it can be to utilize a business model that is solely dependent on one source of traffic.  Just remember:

when a huge share of your traffic comes from one particular source, it’s really not your traffic.

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2014 Predictions for Web Design

2014 Predictions for Web Design

A great article by a web developer at Envato.  I love Envato and use many of their sites when developing everything from generic sites, to custom applications.

  1. Moving Past Just Flat
  2. More Motion
  3. WordPress Dominates, Challengers Accumulate
  4. Tooling for Modern Web Design
  5. Changing Nature of Interface Design

Here are a couple more interesting prediction pieces:

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I am joining the Las Vegas Blues Society

I am joining the Las Vegas Blues Society

Blues Jam

Looks like I’ll be joining the Las Vegas Blues Society, to help manage the web and social presence.  Looking forward to updating their look and helping streamline the data they take in and put out.

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What’s new in Rails 4.1

What’s new in Rails 4.1

Nom nom nom!  I love enums!  The addition of Spring is nice as well, a few seconds each load is time saved!

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Adaptive Background

Adaptive Background

A JavaScript plugin for extracting the dominant color from images and applying the color to their parent.

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Check your website’s SEO problems for free.

Check your website’s SEO problems for free.

Nifty little site that checks for some basic SEO techniques on a webpage.  It is not perfect, but is definitely a good base line.

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America Can Code Act

America Can Code Act

Today, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) introduced the 416d65726963612043616e20436f646520 Act of 2013, also known as the America Can Code Act. This legislation would designate computer programming languages as “critical foreign languages” and provide incentives for state and local schools to teach more computer science beginning as early as Kindergarten.

Grunt for People Who Think Grunt is Weird

Grunt for People Who Think Grunt is Weird

On my demo/at home play projects for NodeJS I have used Grunt but never got too deep into it.  I found myself using it extensively when using the MEAN stack, but still didn’t fully grasp its power and capability.  This article definitely helped clearly define Grunt’s role and how to best take advantage of this powerful tool.

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