Browsing Posts in Ramblings

After reading an article on the intricacies of character sets and encoding I ended up on one of my usual internet tangent's and in doing so I happened across this great article written by Joel Spolsky.

The reason I felt an overwhelming desire to extract it almost verbatim is because it struck a chord. As I read it I could relate. I agree with the concept of Duct Tape Programming. That, all that polishing, finalizing and finishing won't matter a damn unless your code ships. Steve Jobs said it best in an inspirational speech to a team of warn-out engineers. "Real Artists Ship".

Now I'm all for UML diagrams, documentation and planning, but my underlying philosophy is that all the greatest accomplishments of the world, even your life, happen without over-planning. The Pyramids, the magnificent grandeur of early Greek architecture, Michael Angelo, Da Vinci, Einstein ! If they'd listened to convention, denied themselves of a passion to explore the un-explained then we'd be missing some of the greatest moments in history!

For me; when you get wrapped up in the planning, the intricacies, the finalities, the "what-if's" you loose sight. Loose sight of what it is you're trying to achieve, that vision, something potentially great. If someone says to me you can't do that because convention says so I set out to prove them wrong. Why does convention have to dictate creativity. Do you think Einstein listened to convention ? No, he followed his vision, and was driven by his passion.

Sure they made mistakes along the way but that experience, knowing their mistakes it gave them wisdom. If you never make a mistake you haven't really learnt. For anyone who feels they are bound by convention I implore you to read the full article. Anything is possible if you let your passion be a catalyst for your success.

Extracted verbatim from "Joel on Software", absolutely brilliant article :

Jamie Zawinski is what I would call a duct-tape programmer. And I say that with a great deal of respect. He is the kind of programmer who is hard at work building the future, and making useful things so that people can do stuff. He is the guy you want on your team building go-carts, because he has two favorite tools: duct tape and WD-40. And he will wield them elegantly even as your go-cart is careening down the hill at a mile a minute. This will happen while other programmers are still at the starting line arguing over whether to use titanium or some kind of space-age composite material that Boeing is using in the 787 Dreamliner.

When you are done, you might have a messy go-cart, but it’ll sure as hell fly.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/09/23.html

Further Reading

Two words to me that encapsulate everything a website should be. Websites are no longer simply about presenting ideas, conveying information or advertising services. The internet has become a it's own medium. Like print, it has evolved to become an extension of advertising. A means to promote your company, to make your services stand out from the crowd. In advertising they talk about 'The Last Mile'; the internet is no different. A website should connect with it's audience on multiple levels, you need to understand that connection and evolve.

In order to do so it is vital to understand and embrace a constant need for balance. A balance between information and attraction. People will always be attracted to things, it doesn't have to be monetary; everyone is attracted to something. Everyone has a 'taste'. To be successful you need to understand that attraction, that relationship. To capture that and transform it into an effective business catalyst for your website.

The internet is a fickle, literally hundreds of companies all competing for the same customers. You need to stand out from the crowd. You need to be original, to captivate your audience. You need to attract them, to hold them. Good website design is vital. A website could contain the most comprehensive, complete and concise content, but without attraction it will simply go unnoticed. The internet is fickle, you need to stop people in their tracks. For them to be curious, to want to get past the first page and once they are in you need to hold onto them, to deliver your content. For it to be informative, applicable, targetted and concise.

Design is nothing without information and vice versa. Full, rich content is nothing without design. When you are considering a website it is vital you think about design. About offering that attraction, that captivation.