Understand the end-to-end scenarios

If you don’t understand the end-to-end scenario, it’s easy to do something that is ultimately self-defeating. For example, my 3yr old daughter recently learned to play hide-and-seek. The goal of the game is to hide and avoid being found while the “it” player searches for you. She’s got the part about hiding down. But then…


Sometimes it’s the obvious answer

Sometimes the answer to a question is so obvious that we skip over it looking for a fancier answer. Example: A chair at my house had a bunch of little indentations on the seat – kind of like what you’d expect if somebody took a math compass and poked the chair a bunch of times….


Zune’s killer feature

Zune’s killer feature (according to my 2 year old daughter) is the box. For the 4gb/8gb, the box is sturdily built and has 2 parts that slide together. Truly a product for the whole family.


Interview tip: what’s the real question

Sometimes somebody asks a question, but the answer they’re looking for is not the answer to the question; it’s the answer to the question behind the question. My 3 year old daughter demonstrated this recently in a conversation with my wife. After realizing we didn’t know where in the house she was, and having a…


Grocery stores and cyclical dependency graphs

Here’s a silly conversation that demonstrates a problem in resolving cyclical dependency graphs that my wife + I had at the grocery store: Me: [looking for purchases to get in the Christmas mood] “Let’s get some walnuts ” Wife: [predisposed against the idea] “Let’s not, we don’t have a nutcracker” Me: “Well, let’s get a…


My daughter, the QA tester

I was on a plane with my 2.75 yr old daughter (yeah, the state-machine one). She noticed the air-jet above her passenger seat and switch that controls it. She turned it on and off. But to fully test the switch’s functionality, she also tried other essential configurations. Such as: turning it on and off while…


My baby, the finite state machine.

My 19-month old daughter was quite the finite state machine today. She’s recently become mobile and ended up getting her finger caught in a door for the first time. It gave her a little blood blister and the new experience inspired her to cry for a very very long time. My wife tried everything to…