Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

Give It Five Minutes (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Dismissing an idea is so easy because it doesn’t involve any work. You can scoff at it. You can ignore it. You can puff some smoke at it. That’s easy. The hard thing to do is protect it, think about it, let it marinate, explore it, riff on it, and try it. The right idea could start out life as the wrong idea.”

You Don’t Have To Be Good At Math To Learn To Code – “People who program video games probably need more math than the average web designer. But if you just want to code some stuff that appears on the Internet, you got all the math you’ll need when you completed the final level of Math Blaster.”

How Tetris Explains The Promise Of The Ultimate Algorithm – “For the University of Washington computer science professor, Tetris as an example of an NP-complete problem, a term computer scientists use. It’s a problem we have no solution for, but if we did, we could verify quickly that we had found it.”

Not Even the People Who Write Algorithms Really Know How They Work – “Why is one person’s status update on Facebook prioritized in your News Feed over another’s? Why does Google return a different order of search results for you than for the person sitting next to you, googling the same thing? These are the mysteries of the algorithms that rule the web. And the weird thing is, they aren’t just inscrutable to the people clicking and scrolling around the Internet. Even the engineers who develop algorithms can’t tell you exactly how they work.”

GitHub Open Sources A Tool That Teaches Students To Code – “The tool dovetails with GitHub Education, a service that provides classrooms with free private code repositories where teachers and students can post code and collaborate. Naturally, Tareshawty’s tool is open source, like so much on Github, meaning it’s freely available to the world at large.”

Why We Like Simple, Working Systems More Than MVPs (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Here’s the crux…when you start thinking about building simple, working systems you become even more focused on getting people to use the product. In 98% of cases this is exactly where product teams should be focusing. Nothing else matters…without people using your product you’re not going to be successful. That seems to us a pretty straight-forward way to explain where we focus when designing and building products and we’ve generally found it easier to talk about than an MVP.”

Becoming A Designer In Tech – “And the more I worked with designers and talked with them about their process, the more I began to believe that design was where the interesting problems really were. The designers were putting together pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle of user needs and expectations, industry standards, creative explorations, and business requirements. And as the developer I was handed a piece of that puzzle to place in its determined spot. I knew I wanted to become a designer. AKA professional problem solver.”

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