Spreadsheets, apps or paper, it’s all the same thing. Budgeting’s “answer” to every problem is to stop eating out and drinking lattes. Budgeting makes us give up the things we love, feel guilty and become so stressed out that we can’t sleep*. Let’s be perfectly honest. This is not your fault. It’s a bad system. It’s the budget. Budgeting is broken.

It’s not your fault. Budgeting is broken.

How do people budget?

Do you know how most people budget? They do nothing. They don’t budget at all.

The people that do budget are probably using a spreadsheet. The truth is that spreadsheets and apps…


This post is part of the journey of the team at uxdesign.cc on learning more about Diversity and Design — and sharing what they learn along the way.

con·fir·ma·tion bi·as: the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.


We’ve been here before. Procedural programming and goto statements was all the rage with BASIC and Fortan. Why the hell should any stop using a perfectly good tool for some new hot fad called OOP?

Transitions this big are hard. Transitioning to OOP has enabled us to build amazing products that would have been extremely challenging without it. Switching core fundamentals requires unlearning the old ways to give the breathing room vet how new ideas play out in the real world. The transition to get past JavaScript Fatigue is particularly hard because the new tools push against the norms of…


If you like this article, check out my work to solve personal finance at fiskal.app.

Pinch to zoom is not an intuitive gesture. The reason everyone “got it” was because Steve Jobs showed us and we copied. As app designers and developers, we need to expose core concepts and build upon those over time when the user is ready. “Explaining” too many concepts, too quickly creates cognitive overload for users. Thinking that all a user needs is a good onboarding is an anti-pattern. Instead we need to hold the user’s hand and guide them through learning our application’s lexicon.

Level 1: Core Mechanics

The…


Hiring in tech has had its flaws but the tech industry has always been open to critique and improvement. Does anyone remember the brain teasers of the 2000s? Their are flaws that still exists in using correlation and confirmation bias to unintentionally exclude good candidates. Let’s just take a few phases I’ve personally overheard working in Silicon Valley just this last year. “I can hire any a recent college grad to help out on customer support emails” or my personal favorite, “I personally know the CS program at [University X] is bad. We’re going to pass on this person’s resume.”…


If you like this article, check out my work to solve personal finance at fiskal.app.

Webpack is an incredible build tool for the web. The core concept of Webpack is to separate the code base’s structure from the deployment mechanism. At Capital One, we’re able to use Webpack to have our web app get load the page in 2 seconds over a 3G connection.

The biggest contributing factor to fast load times is a feature called Chunking or Code Splitting. All the bootstrapping code is bundled into a single file with each page as a separate file. This gives us…


The best UX solves are ones that seemed hard at first but when the solution finally comes out its obvious to everyone.

I was the iOS engineering lead (now the web lead) for Level Money. It’s a budgeting app that divides your discretionary spending up by the days in the month and shows you what to spend each day. So if you have $300 at the end of the month after paying your bills then you’d have $10 a day. The solution the team came up with before I joined was to break out total available money by day, week…


In recent years there has been growing perception that unit tests are the single best way to have useful code. Notice that I say useful code, not stable code. Having stable code is a misnomer. What we want is useful code. Useful code both works properly and provides something of value to the user. A blanket code coverage metrics do not give us a clear of a picture of usefulness. Even worse is many organizations have improperly sold it to business owners as a catch all. High code coverage is not a panacea.

Case Study in Separating the Concerns

Let’s start out with a case study…


If you like this article, check out my work to solve personal finance at fiskal.app.

A while ago my 8 year old daughter was getting frustrated trying to alphabetize her spelling list. She’s constantly misplacing of the word and starting all over again. Being an opportunistic father, I told her I’d teach her how to tell the computer to do it for her. We opened up a ClojureScript REPL and she wrote her first line of code (sort [“truth” “simple” “powerful” “learn” “happy”]). If an 8 year old can learn basic ClojureScript so can you.

On Capital One’s Level Money…


My latest project is harder than coding. We’re making personal finance not suck. See how your spending pace leads to mastering your budget at getfiskal.com.

ReactJS often gets conflated with the entire stack of tools that people in the React community use. JSX is fine but is off putting to new comers. Webpack is wonderful with HMR and amazing deployment options but has a difficult learning curve. But the flux of the week pattern is the most difficult. Every few months there’s a new library and they are always very restrictive about data access patterns. Ask any developer doing React…

Bobby @ fiskal.app

CEO at Fiskal; Budgeting with smart daily spending goals. http://fiskal.app

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