Learning to Live With A Plethora of Communication Tools

As I sit to write this in 2020, we find ourselves with an embarrassment of riches: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Sharepoint, Asana, Trello, Dropbox, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Yammer, iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and I could go on and on; we have more rich tools that can be used to communicate and connect with one another today than we’ve ever had in human history.

These products add to old faithfuls like email, and even older communication tools like telephones to give us the largest toolkit ever assembled for discussing work, sending gifs, making calls, setting deadlines, telling jokes… or anything…

While I wouldn’t consider myself a master interviewer (I feel like I need to do just fifty or sixty more to really start getting into a groove), I have landed on what I think is my favorite question to ask potential software developers:

“I have two implementations of the same method. One is simple to read, but slower. The other is complex but faster. Which implementation should I use?”

Most potential candidates will answer quickly and typically the same way: “the faster one”. …

The time inevitably comes for any Aptify developer where they run into some sort of inconsistent or undesirable behavior. The question then becomes: “is this a bug in a customization, or is this a bug in the core product?” Of course, one way to figure this out is to turn to a baseline instance of Aptify, repeat the same set of steps, and see if you get the same result.

While this is certainly a reasonable approach to the problem, is comes with drawbacks. For example, what if uncovering the exact issue led to the discovery that there was a…

Nearly five years ago, I was looking over some code a former developer had written, and I started to have the same thoughts that I’m sure so many other developers have had cross their minds:

  • Why did they do this in this way?
  • Why didn’t they use method X or framework Y?
  • Why didn’t they comment this more/less/differently?

And I’ll admit it, I even had the thought “this sucks!” start to peek out of the back of my mind.

Then I started thinking about how harsh I can be, both to other developers’ work, and even to my own. So…

Note: the concepts explored in this post can potentially cause data loss or other issues if not implemented properly. Any customizations should be well tested in a development system before reaching your production environment. But you knew that already, right?

When our organization started rolling out Aptify Web to end users, we quickly ran into issues with users complaining of either missing functionality, or behavior differences between Desktop¹ and Web.

We could have certainly shrugged or told our staff to suck it up², but that’s not really in our DNA. …

As I’ve shared articles and posted comments on Facebook, I’ve seen a refrain from some Trump supporters criticizing me as a “libtard” or saying that I’m just brainwashed because I went to college. Beyond the fact that many brillant conservative thinkers have advanced degrees, I feel like these people are missing the fundamental reasons why so many people are so upset about Donald Trump.

Now, that’s not to say that I’m not liberal. I am. Any Republican winning the presidency would have likely been a disappointment for me, if only from a standpoint of policy and the Supreme Court. That…

Brian D. Adams

I make web sites and I have a journalism degree. Makes sense, right?

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