Perl programmers are the happiest programmers !

I came across this interesting post about programming and happiness. According to the Dolores Lab blog perl programmers are likely to be most happy.


Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian (via Michael Andersen)

I had skimmed this article, on crowd-sourcing, by Michael Andersen few weeks ago and has been looking forward to reading and blogging about it.

Andersen interviewed the key developer from Guardian of London to understand how they got 20,000 plus Brit’s to help uncover the biggest political scandal to hit British shores in decades.

Andersen interviewed the developer, Simon Willison, for tips about deadline-driven software and crowdsourcing. Here are the 4 major tips to successfully engage a crowd for crowdsourcing.

  1. Remember your workers are unpaid, so make it fun. They used a four-panel interface to categorize information. (See the image above)
  2. Because public (your workers’) attention is fickle, launch immediately.
  3. Speed is mandatory, so use a framework for development. Wilson’s team relied on Django, a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  4. Participation will come in one big burst, so have servers ready. Along with Django, they used EC2, the Amazon contract-hosting service for the first time.

Questions managers should use to develop thinking and problem solving

Asking the right questions can help subordinates gain confidence and be better contributors says Michael J. Marquardt, the author of Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Judith Ross notes on HBR Blog that leaders need to ask questions that inspire folks to think in new ways, expand range of vision, and enable greater contribution to the organization. Both Judith and Michael suggest that empowering knowledge workers involve encouragement to be better thinkers and problem solvers.

Judith suggests that empowering questions create following values:

  1. They create clarity: “Can you explain more about this situation?”
  2. They construct better working relations: Instead of “Did you make your sales goal?” ask, “How have sales been going?”
  3. They help people think analytically and critically: “What are the consequences of going this route?”
  4. They inspire people to reflect and see things in fresh, unpredictable ways: “Why did this work?”
  5. They encourage breakthrough thinking: “Can that be done in any other way?”
  6. They challenge assumptions: “What do you think you will lose if you start sharing responsibility for the implementation process?”
  7. They create ownership of solutions: “Based on your experience, what do you suggest we do here?”

To read a more complete post on what questions leaders need to ask and how to create a culture that embraces questions, read Judith’s HBR blog entry here.

1 step to better learning and performance using latest neuroscience research

I am mid-way in the book How we decide? when I started thinking, how I can improve my performance and learning abilities leveraging leading edge neuroscience? This is what I decided based on the evidence provided Jonah’s book.

After a project is delivered do a formal lessons-learned session (with or without your team)- the objective: to find at least 3 things you can improve on the project.

Here is Jonah talking at Google.

Testing your way into obliteration thanks to CPSIA

I came across this good article in Arizona Republic (via ) on the difficulties besetting small domestic manufacturers due to CPSIA compliance.

  • Bumkin, a Scottsdale diaper maker, reports that it spends about 1000 USD for testing each batch of garment it buys and testing costs now contribute 25% of the product cost!
  • Boon Inc, A Chandler toy maker that has spent $400,000 on compliance efforts with no end in sight since the act was passed two year years ago.

Google launches salvo at Microsoft – Chrome OS

Google announced the launch of Chrome OS. It will run on both x86 and ARM chips
on netbooks. It will be available in the second half of 2010.

They say most operating systems we use today were designed in an era where there was no web. Therefore, they are going to design an OS that embraces the web – a natural platform for browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox.

Google suggests that although the new OS will share some features with Android, they want the market to decide which OS will ultimately win. The exciting news is the OS will be available as an open source product. relaunched

I have not blogged in a while, 29 days to be exact. I think it is fair to say I have been busy over the last few months. I (@TheSaaSGuy) have not been tweeting either !

I was busy in the design, development, and launch of QLogitek’s new English and French websites. The site was launched on May 29 thanks to the efforts of QL’s development team and ops team. The design was done by a team from India, Impinge Solutions and the CMS development was done by a team from Barrie, Ontario, Pavliks.

At the end of evaluating numerous CMSs (Joomla, MovableType, Drupal, and others) we settled on Sitefinity, from Telerik. I am very happy with our choice, especially because as a .net shop our dev team is able to work on creating user controls (more on this later). Before finishing this post I would like to say we have done really with all search engine related goals ( more on this in the next post).