Blog of Rob Galanakis (@techartistsorg)

On choosing software by “what is best for the business”

When people are discussing what language/framework/library to use for something, the general criteria people talk about is “what best solves the business problem.” This criteria is used to justify rewriting backend services in Go, rather than sticking with Python. Or not. It’s used explain why you wrote a new...

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What do you want next?

We are focusing on A and B, and in a month or so we’ll start focusing on C, while also keeping focus on A and B. Sound familiar? When we do prioritization at work, I insist we have a single column of priorities or coarse features. In other words,...

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Anxiety causes selfish behavior

BPS Research Digest is a great site, highly recommended for anyone interested in why people behave the way that they do. A little while ago, they reported on a study where anxious participants were more likely to cheat and excuse their own unethical behavior than the control group. When...

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Could employees choose their own manager?

Someone once brought up to me a plan about enabling employees to choose their own manager. The idea has stuck with me for a while, and being in my current position of authority I’ve pondered it more actively. I’ll use this post to collect my thoughts, and maybe present...

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Automated testing shows a respect for employees

In the tech-artists.org G+ community page there was a comment on a thread about unit testing: A key factor in TA tools is the speed at which we need to deliver them, and our audience is considerably smaller than, say, engine tools code. Therefor it becomes somewhat hard to...

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How do you estimate that which you’ve never done?

Have you heard about #noestimates? No? Well I’m sure you can guess what it is anyway. But reading the debates reminded me of a story. While at Game Developer’s Conference a few years ago, I was arguing about estimation with a certain project manager, who, despite having no actual...

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Change should be the ally of quality

In The Beauty of Testing, Steven Sinofsky writes: …great testers understand one the cardinal rules of software engineering—- change is the enemy of quality. This is not a cardinal rule. This is a outdated and obsolete mode of thinking. Change is how you discover great UX. Change is how...

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Technical debt metaphors get it so wrong

In my previous post about technical debt, I explained how modern definitions of technical debt are harmful. Now I turn my attention to equally harmful metaphors. Viktoras Makauskas made the following metaphor in a comment on my last post. This is a pretty perfect stand-in for metaphors I’ve read...

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Building Sphinx documentation for unfriendly code

Some Twitter friends were discussing how to get Sphinx to work with mayapy to build documentation for code that runs in Autodesk Maya. I’ve had to do this sort of thing extensively, for both Maya and editor/game code, and have even run an in-house Read The Docs server to...

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Undefining “technical debt”

For me, technical debt is defined pretty loosely as stuff you don’t like in the code and need to change to keep up velocity. However, I’ve seen lots of articles lately discussing a precise definition of “technical debt.” I would sum them up as: Technical debt is incurred intentionally....

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