Move Fast, Break Things, Slow Down

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Tech Tempo

Facebook started with a saying: “Move fast and break things.” Later on, they updated it to say: “Move Fast with stable infrastructure.” Why did Zuck change his tune? First, we need to understand why he had the initial statement. The phrase is common in startups, although they read it differently. On a small scale, the […]

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Stop fighting holy wars

There are many “holy wars” in tech, and you’d be best served to stop participating in them. These discussions are bikeshedding: Spending an outsized amount of time and energy on trivial details. And when talking in public, they don’t paint you in a good light. In sport, they can be fun. However, I think getting […]

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Quarantine Work is Not Remote Work

I’ve worked remotely for nearly a decade: Either self-employed or at a job, it was always completely or partially remote. I can count myself as blessed during the current situation; I have a full-time job in an industry that hasn’t taken much of a hit. My job, knock on wood, is safe. I know others […]

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5 Ways to Carve Large Pull Requests Into Bite-Sized Ones

Substantial, complicated updates break software in large, complicated ways. Smaller, simpler changes break in smaller, simpler ways. It would help if you considered applying the “ship more, ship smaller” mindset. It’ applies the single responsibility principle to your pull requests. Avoiding large pull requests also means avoiding arduous code reviews and delayed deployments. Here are five patterns […]

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What’s The Best Publishing Cadence?

If you’re starting a new blog or other publishing habits, how often should you be publishing?  My recommendation is to publish regularly, and as frequently as you can manage it.  The most frequent I’ve seen by individuals is daily. Seth Godin is famous for his daily blog, which has over 7,000 posts and counting. Seth […]

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Code is a Liability

The most valuable conversations I have with product leaders are the ones where I fire myself. Sometimes the best solution is not writing more code. Writing code comes with tradeoffs worth considering before starting a new initiative. All code, even perfect code, requires maintenance. Maintenance includes more than repairs when needed. It also includes hosting […]

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How to Choose Your Blogging Platform

There are more tools and channels for publishing content online than ever before, but getting started is also more daunting than ever. It’s because of the paradox of choice. Heightened anxiety caused by more choices leads to analysis paralysis. Tools should be used to enable your work, not deter you from it. If you want […]

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The Budget is Set. Now What?

Projects are sometimes doomed long before any designers or developers are brought in. Your work will never provide value or even see the light of day if you are working on something where the only possible outcomes are failure and mediocrity. But some can be saved. You can make it work. Your career will be better off if you can learn to avoid these projects and work within given constraints.

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Get Out Of Your House & Out of Your Head With A Coffee Cowork

To people who don’t work remotely, it sounds like a dream job. Stay in your pajamas all day; no commute, no distracting open floor plan static. People don’t think about the downsides: The isolation, the loneliness. Left unchecked, extended periods of working from home are a mental health hazard. Isolation leads to depression and anxiety, […]

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Why I Quit Freelancing

After a second full-time stint, I’ve decided to seek full-time employment opportunities. I’ve had a few people ask me why I’ve made this switch, so here’s my reason why. First, to clarify:  I don’t mean to put freelancing as a profession or those who make that career choice on blast. I have plenty of friends […]

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Freelancing vs. Employment — When to Go Solo and When to Join a Team

Most creatives freelance at some point. Either as extra nights-and-weekends work, filling gaps between jobs, or building your own business. I advocate for learning the basics of doing client work. It gives you immutable job security. If you know how to find clients and profitable work, you’re never unemployed. The ability to fend for yourself provides freedom. At some point, you’ll face […]

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Using Growth Initiatives To Increase Focus

Is your marketing department allergic to project management? Here’s a strategy that might help you reign in the chaos a little bit: Morphing my vague marketing tasks into discrete, measurable projects: I call them growth initiatives. Others call them experiments, which I don’t use here because when I say that people tend to think “A/B testing”. […]

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The Difference Between Marketing and Growth

Marketing and Growth are two terms have different meanings depending on company culture and context. Here’s how I think about the difference: Marketing is the discipline of increasing the number of eyeballs on you. Marketing is focused on lead generation; building email lists, getting people to sign up for free trials, and general brand awareness. […]

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Step 1. Automate Keyword Research; Step 2.Gain 10,000 New Leads; Step 3: Profit

The Problem Optimizing Amazon listings requires hours of tedious research and calculations to find the best keywords. To solve this problem, Seller Labs was looking to launch Scope: it’s innovative market research and keyword optimization tool. They saw an opportunity to help sellers do a better job at optimizing their listings. The market for Amazon Seller tools […]

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The Good Book Bad Title Book Club

These are a list of books that I recommend often, but always have to follow with “I know what it sounds like, but…” 1. The 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss What it sounds like: yet another “lifestyle blogger” teaching you how to be lazy and still profit. What’s actually in the book: The original […]

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Minimum Viable Team Management

There are hundreds of project management tools out there, almost enough to convince software developers that they shouldn’t build another one. As a consultant, I form small teams frequently: my assistant and me, or pulling contractors together into a Large Project Justice League. I also have the privilege of working with many different companies, experiencing a smorgasbord of tools, techniques, and […]

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Tiny Rock Side Hustle

Mother works in Elberton, GA, The Granite Capital of the World at a local Quarry. Here is their #2 best selling product: Tombstones. I love companies like this, invisible enterprises that build something important to everyone. But this isn’t a letter about tombstones; this is a letter about their all-time #1 bestseller: Gravel. If you ever think […]

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How to Make an AJAX Request Without Using Frameworks or Libraries

There are a lot of JavaScript frameworks out there these days. It makes it harder to choose a front-end development workflow when starting a new project and write code that’s portable between different projects. Also, using a complex framework to solve a simple problem adds unneeded complexity and risk to a project, which makes getting that […]

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Places to Find Work Besides Upwork and Freelancer.com

How to you find quality clients on freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer.com? Getting quality client work on these sites is nearly impossible. When an average Day Job in India pays as little as $0.65/hour, then doing web development online from the comfort of their home is a dream job. How can you compete?

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A Simple Solution for Complex Software Estimation

The Problem For Tangent Solutions, a growing software products company, the biggest hurdle they faced was a lag time between contracts. Due to the scale of software and complexity in orchestrating development teams, software products often encountered problems like going over budget and missing target deadlines. They needed a solution that made complex estimates more […]

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Applying a Fresh Coat of a Paint to Enterprise Storage Monitoring

The Problem Network storage company Coraid powers some of the most renowned enterprises. They were bringing a new product to market that needed some finishing touches to the website front-end and performance. They needed a creative development crew that could transform their existing interface into an easier to use, cleaner tool to help monitor server […]

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How to Survive Feast or Famine Cash Flow

One part of the freelancing puzzle I haven’t solved yet is keeping cash flow stable. Here’s a lifetime graph of my revenue, month, by month: There’s a lot of peaks and valleys. Good clients, bad clients, late payments, upfront payments. Sales slumps. Family emergencies. It’s all there. About a year after I became a freelancer, […]

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5 Ways to Build a $200,000 Consultancy

I recently read an article entitled five ways to build a $100 million dollar business. It discusses different business models that vary in the number and size of your customer base. Some businesses work with a few enterprise scale clients while others work with a larger number of smaller customers. Patrick Mackenzie mentioned on Twitter […]

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AngularJS: an Overview

AngularJS is a JavaScript framework made by Google for building complex client-side applications. Angular’s killer feature is ‘directives’ that allow you to extend HTML by creating tags and attributes. Angular projects have a somewhat different structure than other JavaScript MVC frameworks, but it can be highly modular and easy to maintain once you understand the […]

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My Eureka Moment With Regular Expressions

Regular expressions are a tough cookie for most programmers to figure out. They are terrifying to look at with their daunting syntax. There is also nothing quite like regular expressions anywhere in programming. Programmers may learn to hack together basic regex expressions, or how to cut and paste some they find online for their needs, […]

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