Climate change and developer personas

I was out on a customer visit a few weeks ago, observing different developers at their workplace as they used Visual Studio to write code and build applications. One of the developers I observed behaved in ways that were common to both our opportunistic developer persona and the pragmatic developer persona (http://p.einarsen.no/programmer-personality-types-and-why-it-matters-at-all/). For example, he wanted…

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Usability study in Edinburgh last week

Just wanted to say a big thank you to the developers who came in to the Edinburgh office last week for a sneak peek at some of our ideas for the next version of Visual Studio. Each of you gave us incredibly insightful and useful feedback and it will be used to improve the product enormously….

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Blogs are no good

…for understanding who you are designing for. I’ve been involved in too many discussions about a design (either after a usability study or a review or during the design process) when we are discussing something that doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right. Maybe we ran a usability study and observed that nobody could complete a…

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Innovation and design

I just read a great article by Alain Breillat describing the Apple design process: http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_cant_innovate_like_apple There are a couple of things that stood out for me: A real design process. The article says that Apple designers create 10 different mockups of any new feature they are working on. These are then narrowed down to three…

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There are many ways to skin a cat

I’ve observed this phenomenon quite a few times in different API usability studies and thought it would be worth discussing. It’s not uncommon for an API to offer multiple ways of accomplishing the same task. For example, the following two lines of code show two different ways of creating a StreamWriter that will append text…

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Interacting with templated controls in a Silverlight based Windows Phone 7 app

I have been struggling all day with trying to figure out how to refer to a templated control in a Windows Phone 7 app. The solution I ended up with was nothing like the solution I spent all day trying to figure out. I wanted to write this up for my own benefit so I might…

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Bricolage, tinkering and gender differences in programming

There’s a great essay at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989304575503730101860838.html describing how great ideas often don’t come from “momentous ideas transcending their surroundings, a gifted mind somehow seeing over the detritus of old ideas and ossified tradition”. Instead, many great ideas come from a process of tinkering with the materials or ideas at hand and combining them in interesting and novel…

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Edinburgh Windows Azure Briefing

We’re holding an event on Windows Azure on October 12th in the Edinburgh office. Full details and signup info is here.

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Windows Phone 7 Developer Event

Gergely did a great job last night demonstrating how to build applications for the Windows Phone 7 device. He has put his slides here. If you attended and have any comments you would like to share about the event, please drop me a note.

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Anyone interested in a Windows Phone 7 developer event in Edinburgh?

We’re thinking of holding a Windows Phone 7 developer event in the Edinburgh office. Something like an introductory tutorial on developing apps for Windows Phone 7. At the moment we’re trying to estimate the level of interest. Let me know if you would be interested in attending. It would maybe be a half day event,…

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