This is taken from an argument I made back in November for why our entire company should adopt git. There may be errors in it, and it’s fairly out of date. Given those caveats, I hope it’s useful.
In short, I choose git and github based on my beliefs about software development at the organizational and individual levels.
Tools amplify your talent. The better your tools, and the better you know how to use them, the more productive you can be. […]
Many new programmers make the mistake of adopting a single power tool, such as a particular integrated development environment (IDE), and never leave its cozy interface. This really is a mistake. We need to be comfortable beyond the limits imposed by an IDE. The only way to do this is to keep the basic tool set sharp and ready to use.
– The Pragmatic Programmer, Chapter 3
A couple months back I had a job change that took me out of state and brought my family back to where many of our extended family members live. We’ve been staying with my gracious in-laws for that time, looking for a place of our own. It looks like everything’s likely to go through at this point, and I’m optimistic that we may yet have all our stuff moved up and be able to establish familiar routines again.
That’s all to say that I’m hoping to have more time for blogging in the coming weeks. I’ve got some good stuff to share on a number of topics. Cya.
Today a confluence of dissimilar events brought me to this post. A decade ago, today, I asked my sweet wife to marry me. I must have tricked her well, because she consented. We’ll be celebrating tonight, and I think of all the hard work it’s taken on both our parts to come to this place. As we’ve worked through it all, we’ve marveled together at the movies or TV shows that depict married couples not long into marriage, and the first time something tough comes up someone asks, “Do you think he wants out?” The answer often follows, “Probably. It’d be best, right?” Marley & Me was a notable exception. The question was asked but answered with something akin to, “No. Marriage takes work.”
And today I discovered that my Church started a YouTube channel: Mormon Messages. Moments ago they posted something appropriate for Valentine’s day week, and for the decision and ensuing hard work, sacrifice, and love that my wife and I commemorate today. Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle today like Paul of old, takes a moment to talk about love.
This morning I got an email from Backpack, telling me that my business partner added a new page with some meeting minutes from our late night conversation the other day. I clicked the link, reviewed the page, and quickly rushed off a reply to his email saying that it looked good.
Then I noticed it. It wasn’t his email — it was sent by the Backpack system itself, not my friend. I rushed to my Sent Items, and found an email addressed to him. I was really surprised. I had lost context, focused on the author of the page instead of the email, wanted to respond about the content of the page, and the crew at 37signals just made the right thing happen automatically.
Personas help focus your work on the needs of real-ish users. In most places I’ve been, I’ve seen that over time the customer kind of morphs into a gelatinous mass of jumbled memory as contact with the actual end user is replaced by a marketing proxy. It’s a common experience, and there’s ways to reinvigorate your bowl full of jelly into something resembling actual users again.
Last summer I attended David Hussman‘s Agile Product Planning: Building Strong Backlogs session at the Agile It! Experience 2008 in Reston. One thing that stuck with me was his goofy graphics of personas, and their alliterative names. Among many things, he talked about smells that creep into your planning process and how these usually indicated a loss of focus on the user. Smells like refactoring or engineering stories becoming common place instead of rare, and people talking about a “thing to do that takes time” instead of telling stories about how this work will help someone.