Interesting Stuff Club
Every Wednesday, we all go into the boardroom to talk about what we’re working on in our own time, what we’d like to learn more about, and to discuss any meetups we’re going to. We’ve been doing it for about a month now, and it’s great to share what we’re passionate about with each other. We call it ‘Interesting Stuff Club’.
“I’ve been using a new layout module in CSS, Flexbox, which lays out components dynamically to best fill the available space. It’s great to get exposure to new layouts. I’ve just started reading a book called ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow‘ about the psychology of design, which is something I’m really interested in so will be reading a lot more of. Only read a chapter so far so will have more to say next week.”
“Last week I read a section of The Lean Startup out to the team that highlights a good example of why we work in the way we do. The book recounts a story of the author stuffing newsletters into envelopes with the assistance of his two children. Each envelope needed to be addressed, stamped, stuffed and sealed. His children said that the quickest way to get the job done would be to first fold all of the papers, stuff and seal the envelopes, then stamp and address. Their father chose to complete one envelope at a time. He won the race, as this small-batch approach is a faster way of getting the job done, even though it seems inefficient this has been confirmed in many studies.
Over the weekend I spoke to an old employee, Pete, who sent me a really interesting link about why agile has failed. It was interesting to read that agile has become this generic term for management, and sold as consultancy, people are actually forgetting what ‘agile’ is: agility and getting better at doing what we’re doing. So code katas, code reviews and sprint reviews are essential. These things are all too easy to forget about when you’re busy but we need to make time for them. To sum it up, we need to develop with agility, as opposed to being ‘agile’.”
“I’ve been doing some research around Scrutinizer which measures your PHP code and finds duplicate/similar code. This could be really beneficial for us at UVD in terms of refactoring our code, so I am going to look further into this and will perhaps write a blog post if we get it set up. Watch this space.”
“I went to Front End London with the guys last week, and loved it. The first talk was about Project Management, which I always found interesting, but the second talk by Daniel Grant was AMAZING! He was live coding 3D CSS3 animations and ended up building a solar system! I went to Rob Alderson‘s talk with Emma, he spoke about the most popular articles from the site in March and tried to explain what it was that made them so popular, the recurring theme was attention to detail and following a concept through to the end; not wimping out of a crazy idea, or taking the easy route. Emma and I also have tickets for Design + Banter which I’m really looking forward to, I think the speakers are really relevant to our roles.”
“I’ve been keeping track of ‘Hack’ – Facebook’s new Open Source language, which is basically a fast, grown up version of PHP. I’ve also been looking at Symfony CMF, which provides the building blocks to build your custom CMS on top of. We have our own CMS, Jellybean, so it will be good for us to gain some competitive analysis of other CMS’.”
“I’ve been spending a lot of my time trying to get my head around node. I followed a website tutorial with MEAN stack and am looking into node frameworks now, but I feel that I need to know more PHP. My main problem with working on projects at home is not knowing what to make, as I have no end goal – I lose track of the project and give up. I need to write some user stories to help me! I’m attending PHP London tonight which is about cloud computing, so that should be really good.”