Best practices

Guest post: SysAdvent!

Guest post: SysAdvent!

I wrote a pitch for SysAdvent and got it accepted, and then realized that it was due right in the middle of all my travel, so it’s a good thing my volunteer editor was willing to work with me on the timing. Day 17 – Write It Down or Suffer the Consequences This article has…

Guest Post on OpenSource.com

Guest Post on OpenSource.com

I was supposed to be at SeaGL this weekend for an awesome conference with the opensource world. Sadly, I fell in the garage and dislocated my shoulder, so I can’t attend. On the bright side, the post I wrote to promote my talk at the conference is available! Four Steps to Better Documentation In it,…

Becoming a welcoming open source project, Mentoring Branch

Becoming a welcoming open source project, Mentoring Branch

Cate Huston (@catehstn) asked what we could do that would get us from “open source” on a project to “welcoming source”.  Codes of conduct, good newbie issues and good onboarding were her initial suggestions, and I said that a good project would also have a really clear goal, because one of my consistent frustrations with…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Now What?

The Seven Righteous Fights: Now What?

This is the conclusion to my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview. Hopefully I have convinced you that these fights are worth having, worth putting some of your capital and effort into. But now how do you do that? You can’t fight alone and win. You’ll burn yourself…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Accessibility

The Seven Righteous Fights: Accessibility

This is the seventh fight in my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview. We all use computers different ways. Does your software allow that? Here are some ways you can add accessibility with relatively little effort. Take your glasses off. Can you see any of the interaction…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Acceptance

The Seven Righteous Fights: Acceptance

This is the sixth fight in my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview. Have you shown this product to any actual humans who are like the users? Acceptance is the act of testing your vision against the user’s needs. It’s not about whether the software works, or…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Affordance

The Seven Righteous Fights: Affordance

This is the fifth fight in my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview. Affordance is what the interface makes easy and obvious. Affordances tell us all sorts of things about the tiny interactions we have with the world, and with software. Most people talk about the affordances…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Extensibility

The Seven Righteous Fights: Extensibility

This is the third fight in my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview. What can you do that would make your product more extensible, more configurable, easier to put into the ecosystem you are trying to serve? I always explain APIs as a sort of Lego connector…

How to write a lightning talk

How to write a lightning talk

This week I was at Write/Speak/Code, a conference designed to teach technical women how to excel in other parts of their careers. It was amazing, soul-filling, and sometimes painfully honest. I was asked to mentor a group of nine women for Speak Day. We had a couple hours for them to write and deliver lightning…

The Seven Righteous Fights: Security

The Seven Righteous Fights: Security

This is the second fight in my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview. Contrary to what you may have heard, the internet is not actually a series of tubes connected by guys in ski masks. There are bad actors out there, but your product probably won’t attract…

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