Software projects take effort to manage; that’s indisputable. In order to ensure that we’re spending our time in the most productive way, we make sure that the tools we use to help manage our projects are lightweight and focused on tracking useful information. Our development team usually prefers Pivotal Tracker and our design team likes Trello. No tool is perfect, but these two seem to have the right balance of flexibility and ease-of use while providing visibility into a team’s progress toward a goal.
Over the past year, we’ve been using my app, Lunch, almost every day to decide from a plethora of downtown SF restaurant choices. I made it as a fun little tool to teach myself new technologies, but it ended up becoming a routine — a sort of mainstay of our company culture.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve written my fair share of unit tests, mostly just covering the happy path and sending in some bogus inputs to test the edges. Typically following a fat-model-thin-controller method (often recommended by me), I failed to understand the point of integration tests. I tried TDD at the beginning of several greenfield projects, but I was never successful in making it sustainable. Similarly, with Selenium, it worked at first but quickly proved to be too brittle to keep up with rapidly changing UIs. (In retrospect, bad CSS architecture on those projects probably deserved the blame more than Selenium per se.)
Lab Zero Team members are passionate about staying up-to-date with latest topics and tools of our trade. We regularly host show-and-tell experiences in which a member of our team presents a topic to the rest of the team. They’re fun! They’re informative! They’re a little exclusive.
Most people cannot imagine life without the Internet. Can you also imagine being the only person without access while the world carries on without you? I don’t know about you, but I’d give up a lot of other things before giving up access to the Internet.
One of the common concerns we hear from clients is that more nimble and laser-focused competitors are nipping at their heels or could emerge from a blind spot and impact their market. This concern only seems to increase with scale. This post describes an example of how we helped a large organization discover how much faster it could experiment, innovate and deliver a product.
At Lab Zero, we’re often hired by clients to create brand new products, and thus brand new codebases. When our time on a project is complete, the client’s own developers inherit the codebase. We’re usually working side-by-side with these developers and are constantly engaging in knowledge transfer.
The Lab Zero Design Team had the opportunity to attend Adaptive Path’s UX Week 2016 conference in San Francisco. The conference brought designers together from all over the world to share diverse perspectives. We met folks from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, and Japan in addition to folks from right here in our hometown.