Have you ever wondered what makes those badass teams you idolize so good at what they do? John Boyd put in a lot of work figuring it out. For those that don’t know, John Boyd was a USAF Fighter Pilot, and later, a military strategist who spent a lot of time thinking about and analyzing the components of a winning team, mostly as it pertains to the art of warfare.

As it turns out, the answers have a LOT in common with a winning team in the workplace (business and war are, after all, quite similar). …


I place a high value on innovation. Like, really high.

Innovation (put simply) is about creating new and better process, products, or solutions/features. It can be about taking something that exists, and reimagining it in a better way: one that may be simpler, easier to maintain, more performant, or potentially solving more problems than originally intended (or with less side-effects). It can be about changing processes to eliminate confusion and friction (by the way: the tireless effort to remove friction is the single most commonly self-reported attribute in successful people, according to Inc Magazine). Or it can be imagining a new product, or reimagining an existing one into something better. …


As you can probably tell, I do a lot of reading around the web, Kindle e-books, and occasionally some podcasts. I mostly read about how to level-up people, create strong teams, and better ways to operate as it relates to Software Engineering.

This list here is meant to be a fairly raw capture of some Best Practices I’ve come to apply over the years that have served me well. Feel free to peruse, and apply them to your workflow. Let me know if it improves things for you!

Best Practices

Deliver something, anything, early. And do it often. The sooner you get early feedback on your framework, tool, website, product design–whatever you’re working on–the better. Even if it’s rough as hell, and all the data you return is completely synthetic and arbitrary, acquainting your customers with the expected User Interface / User Experience can pay dividends in allowing you to pivot earlier, before you’ve written a huge pile of code in the wrong direction. …


Heavily inspired by http://randsinrepose.com/archives/how-to-rands/

Hello there! If you’re reading this, I’ve either steered you towards it, or you discovered it on your own — either way, you’re probably curious how best to work with me.

About Me

First, let me take a moment to explain a bit about my background. I do this mainly because I believe it can reveal the source of some of my quirks. ;-)

If you’ve already read this section somewhere else, feel free to skip down to the “Understanding Me” section.

I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering (emphasis on the Engineering part — more on that later). Cal Poly heavily emphasizes Learn By Doing, which is a value I have 100% internalized. Don’t know how to do something? Want to know the best way to learn it? Go do it! I graduated in December of 2005, already employed full time by Apple Inc (then Apple Computer Inc). …


In case you’re not aware, Pearl Automation, the well-funded Silicon Valley startup that I helped create and lead, ran out of money a couple weeks back. As you can imagine, I’m now in the unenviable position of dealing with that aftermath: applying for health insurance, applying for unemployment assistance (dug heavily into my savings trying to reduce run-rate for the company early on — gotta make my mortgage payments),and fielding more phone calls and in-person, all-day, technical interviews than I care to share.

One thing that I’m always asked is: “what kind of role are you after?”


At work recently, one of my colleagues posted an article titled “Do we need $75,000 to be happy?”. The crux of which was that basically anything over $80k yearly is superfluous — unnecessary luxury.

My response, having lived and worked in Silicon Valley for 12 years now, was incredulous. Uh no, $80k is not superfluous. I’m a successful person, but I’m still (annoyingly) paycheck to paycheck. And I make more than double that figure. Though the overwhleming majority of my circumstances are due to my choices, which I fully own (my wife doesn’t work at desk-job style career, we have a child, we own a house with 2 great dogs, we bought a trailer so we could take our toddler camping easier), some of it is outside of my control. If I had forgone homeownership, for example, I’d be subject to San Jose’s ridiculous rents (we’re currently in temporary housing while our house is being repaired, and the rent is $4200/month for a 2 bedroom place). …


We’ve created the People at Pearl series to showcase the incredible individuals that are driving us toward a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. Highlighting one individual per team until we get through the entire company, we’re thrilled to share more details about the extraordinary people that make up the team behind Pearl. Continuing the People at Pearl series this month we talk to Ken Karakotsios — Architect at Pearl.

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Ken — father of two and avid cyclist with a soft-spot for progressive rock — has been working in consumer technology for several decades spanning a number of seemingly different fields. …

About

Ryan Du Bois

Manager, CoreOS @ Apple

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