Sam Harrelson

Democratized Engineering

Worth your time to read the whole piece, especially the Cathedral / Bazaar analogies…

In fact, you could say that bad engineering, just like good engineering, has helped turn technology into the most powerful force for change in the 21st century. Engineering has been incredibly democratized and it’s been good for engineers. Today’s engineers are in greater demand than ever.

And yet design—and designers—seem perpetually threatened by democratization. I’ve been a designer for two and a half decades and I’ve seen this again and again.

Source: In Defense of Design Thinking, Which Is Terrible + Subtraction.com




New in WordPress 3.5

We’re super excited about the upcoming release of WordPress 3.5 as we use the insanely flexible and competent WordPress content management platform for our own blog as well as a a number of client sites (especially in the affiliate and performance marketing world).

MediaTemple, who we use for hosting this site and can’t recommend enough to others who need server hosting, has put together a great post about the new features of WordPress…

(mt) Media Temple » Weblog » Blog Archive » What’s New in WordPress 3.5: “WordPress 3.5 is set to be released this Monday, December 10! What can you expect from the new upgrade? In this article, we will cover the basics of the new default theme, Twenty Twelve, the new Media Manager, and some lesser known but very useful features that will be a part of 3.5.”

We’ll post our experiences with 3.5 next week after we’ve had a few days to kick the tires.




WordPress A/B Testing with Simple Page Tester

Shawn Collins points out a nifty WordPress plugin for split A/B testing on affiliate sites or any landing page that requires optimization…

A/B Testing: “For the uninitiated, split or A/B testing is a process where you serve up different versions of your page to different visitors to determine which is more effective.

I’ve tried various ways in WordPress and found they were largely a hassle, until I came across the Simple Page Tester plugin.”

I’ve tested Simple Page Tester with a paid search campaign as well as a Facebook Ads campaign linking out to a micro-site lead generation page and it definitely does the trick.




The Kids Are All Coding; Why Aren’t You?

I’m working with a group of 6th-8th grade girls in our Middle School who easily blew past the first five or so lessons on CodeAcademy today.

I was impressed how quickly and easily they groked ideas like substrings and declaring variables. Turns out they aren’t the only ones interested in coding…

Codecademy’s CodeYear Attracts 100,000 Aspiring Programmers In 48 Hours | TechCrunch: “Two days ago, Codecademy — a startup that’s looking to bring programming to the masses — launched a nifty initiative called Code Year. It’s pretty straightforward: sign up, and each week you’ll receive some programming lessons in your email inbox.

And apparently, there are a lot of people who want to learn how to code. Code Year just had its 100,000th user sign up — a remarkable milestone given that the site has only been up for 48 hours. And that number continues to grow at a rapid pace.”

We’re using CodeAcademy as the first steps of a trimester long endeavor to make an official iOS and HTML5 app for our school.

I didn’t come up with this idea… they did.

Pretty soon, these girls and their peers who are toting around iPads, iPod Touches, Kindle Fires, iPhones and Android Devices like we toted around Walkmans are going to start demanding more from their web experiences just as we of the Walkman generation demanded more from our music experiences (and we see what happened to the music industry in the course of a decade).

If you’re going to have a viable web business in 10 or 20 years, it’s time to learn how to code beyond some basic PHP or WordPress hooks.

The kids are alright.