Don't Panic Labs Reading List

DPL Reading List – January 20, 2017


| January 20, 2017 | in

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

Four Truths About Input (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Unlike Schrödinger’s cat, our input experiments don’t end. Knowing what input is used one moment tells you nothing about what will be used next.”

We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong – “Rather than a deterministic “thing” that shapes behavior and unifies people, culture is something people use, often strategically, to achieve goals. It can also provide a basis upon which people contest and counter certain ideas and values while accepting other values associated with a particular cultural context.”

What .NET Developers ought to know to start in 2017 (Thanks to Hari Wiguna for recommending this article) – “Many many years ago I wrote a blog post about what .NET Developers ought to know. Unfortunately what was just a list of questions was abused by recruiters and others who used it as a harsh litmus test. There’s a lot going on in the .NET space so I thought it would be nice to update with a gentler list that could be used as a study guide and glossary. Jon Galloway and I sat down and put together this list of terms and resources.”

Technical debt and refactoring (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “It sounds strange but accepting technical debt (as long as it comes with a planned refactor) has helped me to resolve the inherent uncertainty on this project. I can treat early versions of patterns as prototypes, knowing that they’ll only become production code after refactoring.”

Learning AI if You Suck at Math – “What I needed were some primers written for adults that treat you like one. I also want books that answer questions about why math works. In school, your reason for learning was probably “shut up and do it or else.” But as an adult you need more. You want to know how things work too.”

How fonts influence users’ perception of your product (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “A typeface is a fully accomplished work of design. But unlike most forms of art and design, it also becomes a tool: a work of design that generates other design, transports new meanings, and deeply influences the way people engage with our products. Be mindful of typography, and use it well.”

The Voice – “A couple nights ago, my wife and I started playing Jeopardy with Alexa. It was brilliant. So seamless, so obvious, so much less overhead than launching a visual-based game (whether on the phone or on a video game console), so much more interactive than watching television (where Alex Trebek won’t tell us specifically how we did). It’s a silly example. But some of the biggest things start as silly examples. You’ve undoubtedly heard this ad nauseum, but worth repeating until you get it: watch a child talk to Alexa. That’s also silly — until all those children grow up and start to interact with all of their computers this way.”

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