Learning to Live With A Plethora of Communication Tools

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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 else our creativity can muster up. …

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 workaround? You also are forced into keeping a baseline instance around all the time, or restoring a baseline instance whenever an issue pops up, which can be a time consuming process. …


Brian D. Adams

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

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