Working Remotely by Jonathan Snook

Jonathan Snook:

I’ve been fortunate over the past decade to have been able to, in various capacities, work from home—or work in place, as some like to call it. First as a freelancer, then Yahoo!, then again when I went to work at Xero, and now back to working for myself.

… So, after all that time, what have I seen that works and doesn’t work? If I were to start my own company, would I allow remote workers? If I were to join another company, how would I foster an environment that encouraged remote work?

If you lead a remote team or happen to work on one, this post is for you. Jonathan’s thoughts on communication is of special significance. Communication—especially the written form—is invaluable when either working remotely or working on a team where some are. You need to document everything; there’s no other way to keep everyone in the loop.

But it all starts with us. It’s our job to help educate our onsite co-workers that documenting is not only helpful to remote employees, but in the end to everyone.

I’m an Impostor | David Walsh Blog

David Walsh:

If you’re reading this post, you probably aren’t an impostor, because…

  • You believe you might be an impostor — those who think they’re experts are anything but, those who know they aren’t experts know how much they don’t know
  • You read blogs — you get new opinions and see new techniques
  • You get work — whether it’s a big company job or enough to pay the bills, you can make money punching keys on a computer (have you seen people who aren’t tech savvy try to do anything on a computer?)
  • You know what responsive design is, and why it’s important

This article came to me at a perfect time. I don’t really know how I found it, but last week was difficult. I felt useless and like a fraud. This post instead helped me concentrate on all the great things I do, how valuable I am as a designer and developer, and that even if all that wasn’t true, I have an amazing wife and family who love me deeply. Maybe you’re in need of the same reminder?

The Trouble with Twitter — MacSparky

David Sparks commenting on this BuzzFeed article:

I don’t buy Twitter’s claim that they’re worried about lawsuits. Most people on the Internet have the ability to kick somebody off their website or service if they feel like they are behaving badly. If you don’t believe me, read the terms of service of every website on the Internet.

I think the reason why Twitter has been ignoring this problem is because they want everyone to use Twitter, even the jackasses. Maybe it’s time they grew up and started cracking down on this. If not, the rest of us will start voting with our feet.

Introducing our new 1Password subscription service | AgileBits Blog

Dave Teare on the AgileBits Blog:

Today is a very exciting day in the world of passwords! We have not one, not two, but three(!) incredible things to announce:

  1. An awesome new state-of-the-art hosted service to protect you and your data
  2. The most affordable way to purchase 1Password on all your devices
  3. A launch special that’s so amazing it’s kinda scary

When it comes to password management, 1Password is the best bar none. They’ve been making it easier and easier to use by introducing 1Password for Teams, then a family edition, and now a hosted service for individuals. If you’re still saving passwords as contacts on your phone—or god forbid using the same one everywhere—do yourself a favor and try 1Password.

Sticky Headers by Jeremy Keith

Jeremy Keith:

I made a little tweak to The Session today. The navigation bar across the top is “sticky” now—it doesn’t scroll with the rest of the content.

I made sure that the stickiness only kicks in if the screen is both wide and tall enough to warrant it. Vertical media queries are your friend!

Some practical advice when creating these sticky headers so you don’t mess anything up accessibility-wise.

Questions for Our First 1:1 by Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan:

In the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of kicking off lots of new reporting relationships with both engineers and engineering managers. Over time, I’ve learned that getting some particular data during an initial 1:1 can be really helpful, as I can refer back to the answers as I need to give a person feedback, recognize them, and find creative ways to support them. Most of these I’ve stolen from some really amazing Etsy coworkers.

This is one of those posts I’m filing away for future circumstances. What an amazing set of questions. I understand that being a manager can be really difficult, but like anything else, it start with wanting to be good at your job. Questions like these enable you to be a better manager, and let people know you care.

With James Harden’s Extension, Houston Has Hope of Being an NBA Hotbed | ESPN

Harden is staying.

The 26-year-old, who had two years remaining on his original deal, signed a two-year extension, which runs through the 2019-20 season.

Harden did some good on Saturday by staying. He keeps the team relevant with his superstar stature and he also displayed a sense of loyalty. No need for the Rockets to head to the Hamptons for visits with free agents.

Old news here.1 But still fascinating to me. Especially that part of displaying “a sense of loyalty.” It’s hilarious how people throw around that word in business. There’s no such thing as “loyalty” in business people, it’s business. Moreover, whenever there is “loyalty”, it’s most likely one-sided. If the Rockets ever decide they no longer need him, you think they’ll keep him around? It’s a business, let’s not kid ourselves with this whole “we’re a family” talk. We’re not. Just another line on a payroll, and it’s naive to believe otherwise.

  1. Sorry peeps, haven’t carved out the time to write about this one. 

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review (PS4) | PlayStation Insider

Logan Moore writing for PlayStation Insider:

There’s a line in the original Star Wars movie where Obi-Wan Kenobi tells a young Luke Skywalker, “You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.” I couldn’t help but think of this quote after my time with Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This new Lego game is so much more expansive and more mechanically sound than any Lego game that has come before it. While it’s probably close to being the 20th game in the Lego franchise, this new entry truly does feel like a first step into a brave, new direction for the franchise.

Interesting review! And it isn’t the only rave review I’ve seen about this game. Seems everyone has good things to say about it. Oh! And I cannot believe the whole cast came back to do voice recordings. Even Harrison Ford. I’ll definitely be buying this game. Can’t wait to play it.

Spotify Says Apple Won’t Approve a New Version of Its App because It Doesn’t Want Competition for Apple Music | Recode

Peter Kafka reporting for Recode:

In a letter sent this week to Apple’s top lawyer, Spotify says Apple is “causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers” by rejecting an update to Spotify’s iOS app.

The letter says Apple turned down a new version of the app while citing “business model rules” and demanded that Spotify use Apple’s billing system if “Spotify wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions.”

Yea, yea… old news. But still very interesting. It’s no secret that Apple’s approval process can sometimes be arbitrary, but it also seems that Spotify is in violation of Apple’s terms. Yet another example of how when companies have petty arguments, it’s the user that suffers. People who want the convenience of subscribing to Spotify on their iOS device have to pay more to account for the 30% that Apple makes from the transaction. It’s all just incredibly stupid.