Blog of Rob Galanakis (@robgalanakis)

rant

When advice turns out to be a mistake

I remember reading Clinton Keith’s “Agile Game Development” and getting to an anecdote about CCP Games, where I worked at the time. The following is from a Gamasutra repost of the book’s “Teams” chapter: In the fall of 2008, CCP undertook the development of its tenth expansion pack called...

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Hiring in a time of scarcity

I’ve never understood the hypergrowth mindset that’s guided the tech industry for the last few years, and part of me is happy that the investment bubble has popped. I’m not interested in throwing around money to solve problems; my experience is this creates more problems than it solves, and...

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Anger is my muse

Last week, a coworker asked me to start blogging again. It’s hard to find material to blog about when things are going well and you’re so excited to do work, though! It is for me at least. Anger is my muse. I find it really difficult to stop having...

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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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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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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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Holiday (product) shipping

This was an interesting holiday season, work-wise, for three reasons. First: My work was closed down from Dec 20th to Jan 4th (except for Customer Support and whichever developer was on firefighting duty, though that is all remote). We shipped two large products on December 17th, which was a...

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We’re not so different, you and I

Ben Sandofsky wrote a post about why QA departments are still necessary, specifically with regards to mobile app development. He makes a good point: mobile apps create a distribution bottleneck that makes very rapid iteration impossible. I agree, and this is a good angle to think about. I would...

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