Saturday, August 15, 2009

UI Design Is Not A Spec!

Came across another one of your typical articles from the "Design World", on how us developers are so difficult to work with, and just don't "get it"

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/14/how-to-effectively-communicate-with-developers/

Now I have nothing against the author personally. I'm sure his design are fabulous. But judging from some of the comments, I would say most who call themselves designers are the ones who don't "get it". Project spec through UI design doesn't work. Period. No successful large project I have ever worked started with a designer handing over some pretty mockup while at the same time saying, "Here's what it needs to do." Give me a break.

A good developer understands the entire project life cycle, including where the UI design fits in. A good developer will also not touch a project in which a designer insists they code to their UI, which is why I imagine the author has so many problems with developers that don't "get it".

At the same time, a good designer understands a UI mockup is no substitute for a functional spec. I admire the spirit of the article, but it's just all wrong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Elance Hacked!

Just got my copy of the email that's spreading around to eLancers. I'm assuming anyone and everyone out there with an eLance account will get it, because they apparently don't know exactly who was affected, or what was taken.

Curious though that they claim in the same email that "This incident did NOT involve any credit card, bank account, social security or tax ID numbers"

How can that be eLance? Even if you have identified THIS breach, you security is obviously lacking and it's doubtful this is your only security hole. More likely it's your only known security hole.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

18M Website Redesign?

Your tax dollars hard at work again. $18,000,000 for a website? Check them zeros, yeah that's 18 MILLION!

Since it appears that the company awarded the contract, Smartronix, does not even do web development according to their own site, I guess they'll be outsourcing the work. Overseas I presume.

Hey Smartronix, if your looking for help pulling this off you can hire me, and each member of my team for only $18,000.oo per hour. We'll work full time on it for say um, 2 months? You'll still make a nice profit. What do you say?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Google's Chrome OS

I say it's about time Google. I guess it took the rise of the netbook to finally make this happen. Web apps are and have been the future for how we interact with the world outside of the corporate cube.

It will be nice when that day comes that I don't have to endure a two minute boot of a PC just to get to google and check some stats.

I doubt though this will put Microsoft out of business. Competition will force them to adapt, like they always do when threatened. Look at the stagnation of IE 6 until Firefox threatened, then bam, IE7, IE 8 within what a year?

Maybe we'll finally get that lightweight Windows desktop OS they have been promising for like, ever. Competition is a good thing.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Spammers All Over Twitter Search

Where the web audience goes, so goes the spammers. It wasn't too difficult to see this coming. Spammers are taking advantage of Twitter's unfiltered, real-time search capability to push their wares. You can just imagine the affiliate boards fluttering with comments like these: "Dude, instant traffic, just put a hash tag from trending topics in your post!"

I hope they do something about it. An annoyance today, twitter search will become useless real quick.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

ASP.NET for Java Developers

If it's been a while since you've taken a look at what's going on the asp universe, you may be quite surprised, in a good way. Whether your coming out of a corporate position or long term java assignment and looking to expand your marketability, or are currently fielding offers, you should seriously consider adding ASP.NET to your toolkit.

Now I understand there will be many Java web devs out there that that will never consider any tools that come out if the evil empire for various reasons. I know, because I was one of them. I'm also NOT trying to convert anyone out there and I don't work for Microsoft so I have nothing to gain here.

My philosophy has always centered around the best tool for the job, and by extension the best language. Successful developers with a few good size projects in production will tell you that language matters less than sound, software engineering practices do. This brings me to the ALT.NET movement.

Microsoft's early asp offerings have been criticized, and rightly so, for making it extremely difficult to implement the design patters we as Java devs have employed for years in our projects. But that has definitely changed over the past year or so thanks in part to this movement. The altdotnet.org website describes it best. "We are a self-organizing, ad-hoc community of developers bound by a desire to improve ourselves, challenge assumptions, and help each other pursue excellence in the practice of software development."

Microsoft has listened, and I believe they do now "get it". Look no further than the ASP.NET MVC framework. This is huge. I'm in the middle of a good size project with it and it's working very well. Take it for a test drive. You may be surprised too! 

Friday, May 01, 2009

SEO Tools

Looking to review some of the seo software out there. Most it seems have trial downloads available. Taking a stab at manual optimizing/link building/keyword requires a HUGE investment in ones time. No wonder the Pro's charge so much for their time.

It used to be that well written updated sites gradually climbed in the rankings organically. I'm sure it still happens, but it's near impossible to compete with the internet marketers out there. Relevant content is getting harder and harder to come by. It used to be that you could pretty much find what your looking for in the top 10 results. I now find myself regularly going 3-4 pages deep in search, because page 1 is dominated the internet marketers.

Even if you have a niche site, you will have a hard time competing. The marketers out there are constantly looking for non-competitive keywords, quickly throwing up a site with affiliate links all over it to make a few bucks.

SEO is mandatory if you want any kind of search traffic at your site. It's no longer an option.