author Jake Morrison

One of the most important decisions we make in product development is when to make a release. From a business perspective, it's better to release early and often, with a "minimum viable product".

It's also important to define explicit technical quality criteria, or we will waste a lot of resources …

author Jake Morrison

Everyone wants to have a beautiful graphical design for their product. The problem comes when graphical design becomes more important than usability and affects the efficiency of the development process.

There is an anti-pattern we call "graphical design driven development." The way it goes is that the client starts by …

author Jake Morrison

We often need to estimate development projects which have both iOS and Android. It's tempting to say that Android will be the same, but what we have found is that Android takes more effort.

The rule of thumb in Silicon Valley is that it takes two to three times the …

author Jake Morrison

When we create products, it's important that they help specific users with their issues, not generic users. It's easy to create a list of features, all of which sound good, but don't address a pain point. Without solving a pain point for someone, they won't buy your product. If you …

author Jake Morrison

User stories are more or less the "Director of Operations" view of the world. They describe step by step how the business works, and what the software needs to do to support it. They should be done after we have defined the user personas, to make sure we are starting …

author Jake Morrison

Here are the slides for the presentation on performance tuning Elixir I gave to the local Elixir user's group.

author Jake Morrison

One definition of a startup is "a company in search of a repeatable business model." If we have a clear idea of what the customer needs, what they are willing to buy, and have built the product that satisfies them, then we are no longer a startup, we are an …

author Jake Morrison

There is a joke, "The Four Stages of Santa Claus":

  1. You believe in Santa Claus
  2. You do not believe in Santa Claus
  3. You are Santa Claus
  4. You look like Santa Claus

There is an equivalent for software developers when it comes to requirements documents and specs.

  1. In the beginning of …

author Jake Morrison

Here are the slides for the presentation on Elixir and embedded programming I gave to the Elixir user's group.

author Jake Morrison

After a fair amount of debugging, I got an app running in an AWS Auto Scaling Group (ASG), pulling it's config on startup from S3 and code from Amazon CodeDeploy. On the way I found out some annoying parts of the cloud initialization process in AWS.

The idea is that …